Two people arrested on oil rig bringing protest arrests total to 14

Two people have been arrested during the protest on an oil rig in the North Sea.

Campaigners from the environmental organisation Greenpeace have been occupying the structure since Sunday evening.

Police say the pair were arrested around 2pm on Friday when officers returned to the platform, currently situated in the Cromarty Firth.

Three others were arrested on land earlier in the day, with 14 people in total being arrested as part of the five-day protest at the site, according to police.

Chief Superintendent George Macdonald said: “Officers returned to the platform around 2pm and, after deploying specialist tactics to access the area, subsequently arrested a man and woman who had been carrying out a continued protest on the rig.

“They have since been safely returned to shore by boat.

“Three further people were arrested on land earlier in the day in connection with this operation. This brings the total number of people arrested to 14 and enquiries are ongoing.

“The safety of everyone involved has remained our main priority throughout this challenging operation.

“Once again we utilised highly trained specialist officers from across Police Scotland and I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone involved for their professionalism throughout this unique and challenging situation.

“We are grateful for the significant support we have received and the continued co-operation of local communities.”

The activists have been calling on BP to stop drilling for oil and hoped to stop the Transocean PBLJ rig from reaching the Vorlich oil field.

A BP spokesman previously said: “BP continues to work with Transocean, Police Scotland and all relevant authorities to bring this reckless action by Greenpeace to a safe conclusion.

“BP supports debate, discussion and peaceful demonstration, but the irresponsible actions of this group are putting themselves and others unnecessarily at risk, while ignoring court orders and police action.”

Earlier on Friday, John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK, said: “BP are heading out to drill a new well giving them access to 30 million barrels of oil – something we can’t afford in the middle of a climate emergency.

“We can’t give up and let oil giants carry on with business as usual because that means giving up on a habitable planet and our kids’ future.

“The UK Government has announced a target of net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 – we have started to enforce it.”

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