More arrests at oil protests as they continue to hit Suffolk fuel supplies

Police officers at the Navigator Oil Terminal in Grays, Essex, following protests earlier in the wee

Police officers at the Navigator oil terminal in Grays, Essex, following protests - Credit: PA

Police have arrested more protestors at oil depots in south Essex as the shortage of fuel in the region continues.

Essex Police confirmed 28 people were arrested on Friday following demonstrations at the Navigator Oil terminal in Thurrock and Grays oil terminal.

It brings the total number of people arrested in relation to protests in Essex to 454.

A teenager from Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, had previously been arrested as part of a protest in Thurrock on April 1.

Signs are fixed to fences outside the Navigator oil terminal. The demonstrations have led to fuel shortages in Suffolk

Signs are fixed to fences outside the Navigator oil terminal. The demonstrations have led to fuel shortages in Suffolk - Credit: PA

Activists from Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion have been blocking access to oil terminals across the country, demanding that the government stops new oil and gas projects.

But the demonstrations have seen some forecourts run out of fuel.

Government figures have revealed garages in the East of England were only 19% full of petrol at the start of the week and 23% full of diesel.

Before the Covid pandemic, they would usually operate at about 40% full of petrol and 48% full of diesel.

East Anglia appears to be particularly badly hit because much of its fuel comes from refineries in south Essex, beside the Thames estuary.

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Essex Police Assistant Chief Constable Glen Pavelin said: "It is anticipated the road network will be busy today and in the coming days, as people travel and spend time with family and friends during the Bank Holiday weekend.

"Our dedicated officers will continue to work across the weekend to keep Essex moving, keep people safe and minimise disruption to the public.

"We also continue to work closely with our colleagues at the Crown Prosecution Service to secure charges where possible.

"As demonstrated this week, if you come to Essex and engage in disruptive and dangerous protest, we will arrest you."