A man has been arrested and charged after the anti-fracking slogan ‘Frack Off’ appeared on the side of an Exeter branch of Barclays.
Police were called to the bank off Bedford Square at around 6pm yesterday following reports of a man spraying graffiti.
Officers detained a 39 year old from North Devon at the scene.
The graffiti on the front window of the bank, daubed in black paint, read: “Frack Off! #XR”
Anti-fracking protest group Extinction Rebellion (XR) Exeter confirmed it was aware of the incident on Twitter, tweeting photographs of the graffiti and signage at the scene.
Barclays is thought to have been targeted because over financial investments it has made in Third Energy – a firm at the forefront of pursuing fracking in Britain.
In a statement, Devon & Cornwall Police said: “Police were called to reports of a man spraying graffiti on the front on Barclays Bank in Bedford Street, Exeter.
“Matthew Lepley, aged 39, from North Tawton was charged with criminal damage and will appear before Exeter Magistrates’ Court on 29 January 2019. “
The graffiti was removed earlier today.
What is fracking and why is it controversial?
Fracking involved drilling into the ground followed by a high-pressure water mixture, including chemicals and sand, to release the gas inside.
The term fracking refers to the ‘fracturing apart’ of the earth during the process.
Fracking uses huge amounts of water, which must be transported to the site at significant environmental cost.
As well as concerns over earth tremors promptd by the works, environmentalists say potentially carcinogenic chemicals may escape during drilling and contaminate groundwater around the fracking site.
The process also relies primarily on fossil fuels, instead of green, renewable options.