Petrochemical giant Ineos has got an injunction in the UK High Court against unlawful protests at its shale gas locations in the country.

The injunction means that the protesters will face a risk of contempt of court if they attempt to block in the shale operations of Ineos in any form. It also helps the company to get more police protection with the judicial system having additional powers to act on any lawbreaking incident from the protesters.

As per the injunction, any contempt of court could result in imprisonment, fines or assets seizure, while Ineos will hold the right to seek to recover damages from any individual violating it.

The injunction prohibits several activities deemed as unlawful that include trespassing onto the company’s shale sites and related office locations, obstruction of the highway around the sites, and intimidating anyone involved in the shale supply chain of Ineos.

The judge who delivered the injunction ruled that the petrochemical company had placed a significant evidence to convince him that the unlawful action by shale demonstrators were imminent and real.

The judge added that although people are free to express their views, they are not entitled to carry out unlawful acts.

INEOS shale operations director Tom Pickering said: “Our sites are potentially hazardous for anyone without proper training, so we have a duty to prevent trespassers. We safety train our people to avoid the very hazards that militants and protestors naively expose themselves to.

“For instance, standing in front of a moving lorry whose driver may not be able to see you is dangerous. Blocking roads to all traffic including emergency vehicles is dangerous.

“Diverting police resources away from local policing is dangerous.

Pickering concluded that appealing to the court for the injunction in this regard was a right and responsible move from the company.