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Row over police request for names at fracking meeting

A ROW over whether Kent Police asked Canterbury Christ Church University for a List of all the attendees to a fracking debate last month has taken a new twist. Outrage was expressed by campaigners, counclilors and members of the public when it was revealed last week that the force contacted the university; which hosted the meeting, asking for the names of all those who had attended. Kent Police reacted to the furore by denying that officers had requested the list, saying:

“Kent Police did not obtain a list of people who had expressed an interest in attending. Police attendance wa not required during the meeting, but the Dover District chief inspector did attend the event as an interested stakcholder.”

But the university is standing by its claim. A spokesman said:

“The university was contacted for a list of attendees at the Engaging Sociology event, Fracking in the UK, and did not disclose the requested information. The university did not feel it was appropriate to provide the information.”

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes said she had been assured Kent Police did not ask for the list. But Canterbury Christ Church University’s spokesperson clarified their original statement, saying:

“Our understanding is that this request was made during one of our conversations with Kent Police prior to the event. We declined the request and informed them of our decision.”

Julie Wassmer, a campaigner with the group East Kent Against Frackmg, took part as a speaker at the debate. She has called into question the legality of Kent Police asking for such a list due to data protection laws.

Herne Bay Times, December 23rd 2014

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