Man arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated harrassment at tree-felling site in Sheffield

Officers on Abbeydale Park Rise earlier this month. Picture: Scott Merrylees/The Star
Officers on Abbeydale Park Rise earlier this month. Picture: Scott Merrylees/The Star
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Two people have been arrested at the site of tree-felling in Sheffield, South Yorkshire Police has said.

One man, aged 47, was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated harassment, under Section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986.

A second man, 48, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing the highway, under the Highways Act 1980.

A 65-year-old man, was also reported on summons under section 303 of the Highways Act 1980.

The arrests were made at tree-felling work along Rivelin Valley Road.

In recent weeks, dozens of police officers and private security guards have been attending tree-felling operations in Sheffield, with heated scenes and several arrests of protesters made.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Earlier today, due to the peaceful nature of the protests, police resources were withdrawn from the site.

"However, only a short time later, a breach of the designated safety zone temporarily stopped work, and a number of people were observed gathering on the road.

Due to the breach, and safety concerns associated with people standing on a live highway, a number of officers were sent back to the site, until the tree-work had completed.

Sheffield Council says the trees being felled are either dead, dying, diseased, dangerous or damaging the highway. But campaigners argue felling is being carried out for contractual rather than environmental or health and safety reasons.

Three city MPs have spoken out against the felling which came after it was revealed the council’s highways contract with Amey which started in 2012 contains a target to fell 17,500 street trees in the city and replace them with saplings by the end of its 25-year term.