YORK’S MP has promised to talk to police over concerns about “heavy-handedness” at fracking protests.

Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central, visited the camp at Kirby Misperton today (Wednesday, October 4), and has now said she wants to speak to police about complaints she heard.

Ms Maskell said: “I witnessed a very peaceful protest - people having their say and being very respectful but wanting to make their point about fracking’s impact on the community.

“The community rejected fracking but were ignored, and now they are standing really strong and determined to stop it.”

Ms Maskell said she saw police behaving respectfully and talking with protesters, but had heard complaints about “rough handling” and “heavy handedness” - something she had raised with officers at the scene and now plans to follow up with North Yorkshire Police.

Responding to the concerns North Yorkshire’s Superintendent Alisdair Dey said they were continuing with their “neighbourhood policing” approach, and had invited the MP to be in touch.

“We continue to balance the rights, needs and wishes of everyone involved. That includes the right of people to assemble and protest peacefully, balanced against the right of local people to go about their daily lives safely and without disruption.”

He added: “We would rather talk to people and persuade them to move than to have resort to force and make arrests. Where we do take physical action, we will use a range of tactics that are proportionate and use the minimum of force.

“Our officers are doing a professional job in very difficult circumstances.”

Earlier yesterday, a protester said to be “surfing” on a lorry was arrested at the site of a scaffolding firm in Whitby.

Protestors from the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp said they went to the firm to protest against its work for the fracking firm.

Police confirmed they were called when a man had climbed onto the roof of a lorry.

A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of using violence or intimidation on a person, family or property to compel abstention from lawful activity; and aggravated trespass, and was in custody yesterday evening.