Steeple Claydon protester turns tables on HS2 after arrest threat

The leader of an anti-HS2 campaign group from Steeple Claydon has accused HS2 of trespassing and criminal damage.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 2:56 pm
Anti-HS2 campaigner Frank Mahon

Frank Mahon, of Anti-HS2 SOC (Save Our Countryside), who has been leading direct action against HS2 enabling works on the outskirts of Steeple Claydon, told this paper that police have ordered his group off the land or face arrest for aggravated trespassing themselves.

Mr Mahon said:

"We've had to pull out because of the police. They didn't produce any paperwork but they said their legal department had sufficient paperwork showing that HS2 are legally on there."

The determined protester told us on Monday that he had a meeting the following day with police on to discuss the matter.

Frank Mahon continued:

“We have a charmed meeting tomorrow at Aylesbury Police Station and we're going to demand an answer as to why we were threatened with aggravated trespassing when we had the landowners permission to be on the land. Our argument is that they're illegally on that land and they're causing criminal damage.”

However, just before going to press, Mr Mahon informed us that the police had cancelled the meeting just two hours before it was due to take place. He said:

“They cancelled the meeting on the grounds that they didn't have any paperwork or any information. The person we were supposed to see knew nothing about it and so I've just had to make an official complaint to 101.”

We also asked Mr Mahon about the recent tweet from Lord Berkeley, the deputy chair of the Oakervee Review into HS2, where he suggested the report findings would be delayed until after the election on 12 December but stated he had “no opportunity to influence conclusions.”

Mr Mahon said:

“It's not ideal. From day one, when Oakervee was elected as chair, I always said that it was like school kids marking their own homework. Nothing's changed my mind on that.”