Five charged after airport protest

FIVE people have been charged with aggravated trespass following a protest and day of disruption at Stansted Airport, police said tonight.

FIVE people have been charged with aggravated trespass following a protest and day of disruption at Stansted Airport, police said tonight.

Another seven were released on police bail without charge pending further enquiry after being arrested on suspicion of public order offences, an Essex Police spokesman added.

More than 40 other people remained in custody, he said.

Police arrested more than 50 people earlier today after environmental campaigners said they had broken through a perimeter fence at the airport.


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It has led to security arrangements at Stansted coming under intense scrutiny.

The demonstration led to widespread disruption and flight cancellations this morning amid accusations that operator BAA did too little too late to stop and disperse activists from Plane Stupid, an environmental group opposed to Stansted's expansion plans.

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But Spanish-owned BAA insisted that security staff and police had been on the scene quickly and that a second wave of demonstrators were stopped before they had managed to cross the airport's boundaries.

The incident began at around 2.50am when protestors outside the perimeter, some of whom had arrived in a second-hand fire engine to blend in with emergency vehicles on the site, began cutting through the airport's fence with bolt-croppers.

Around 50 activists managed to access an “airside” secure area and barricaded themselves into a make-shift fortress consisting of 6ft high security fencing and concrete blocks.

Some chained themselves together to make it more difficult for police to move them.

Police later said they arrested 57 people. Of these, 50 were on suspicion of aggravated trespass, three were on suspicion of attempting to gain access to a restricted area and four were on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance.

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