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Huge numbers of police deal with oil protest close to Gatwick Airport

TWO arrests were made after a chaotic protest yesterday (Friday) afternoon close to Gatwick Airport.

The protest was at Horse Hill, at the junction where the road meets the A217, the main road between Crawley and Reigate.

At least one protester climbed on top of a tanker, as a group made their feelings known about oil testing taking place off Horse Hill.

Horse Hill had to be closed for several hours while large numbers of police dealt with the protest.

A man climbed on top of the tanker at the Reigate Road junction at about 3pm.

He was later brought down from the vehicle.

Just after 5pm a man was arrested for criminal damage and interference with a motor vehicle.

Another person was later arrested on suspicion of interference with a motor vehicle.

Millions of barrels of oil were discovered at the site last year and further testing on it has started.

Protesters have been at the location since the end of January in opposition to the conventional extraction of oil and gas. They also fear fracking could take place there in the future.

A driver trying to get home said yesterday: “It’s absolute chaos. The police have blocked the road off so no one can go up or down it. I was turned away.”

Another passer-by said: “They [protesters] are up on the lorry. The police have got scaffolding and they have climbed up to get to them.

“There’s loads of police. It’s just at the entrance [to Horse Hill], opposite The Black Horse.

“Everyone is driving past just shaking their heads in their cars. It’s ridiculous. How much is this costing us?”

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