• April 27, 2015


The contaminated harbour silt issue entered an entirely new dimension of absurdity last week as the Isle of Man’s (impartial and objective) Police Force decided they would take no action over haul route incidents when material which comprises a ‘rich soup’ of arsenic, lead and other heavy metals was deposited on the highway on day one of the operation at Peel Harbour.

Now for the avoidance of doubt here let us be clear the Isle of Man Constabulary are not and should not be an ‘environmental’ police force. However what they should do and what they seem patently unable to do is police the Highways.

Peel on the west coast of the Isle of Man is a small fishing port. Its Marina is silted up with contaminated waste from old mine workings. Washed down from uplands, and prior to the construction of the Marina out to sea, they have in recent years concentrated in the silt deposit on the harbour floor.

Back to the Quaystone (or should it be Keystone) Cops!

One might have anticipated that given that the removal of 20,000+ tonnes of ‘contaminated silt’ departing in large trucks every twenty minutes via narrow streets  and past a primary school would have ensured that on day one the police would have been on hand to ensure nothing awry occurred from a road traffic perspective.

Those with fairly sound memory will recall that this is the same Police Force that, when a strike took place recently, had Officers on hand throughout the picketing to ensure strikers did not ‘put a foot on or obstruct the highway’.

Apparently striking workers feet are off-limits for Manx roads but government contracted hauliers can deposit overspill from their loads with impunity.

This is not double standards it stinks (even worse than the mud from Peel Harbour) of duplicity between government and the police. It is an incestuous relationship that no modern democratic society should allow.

Now those last two sentences may seem a bit over the top!

After all following the initial days debacle (as the Police who had been conspicuous by their absence went off to review matters) the haulage operation settled down. Assurances about movements around school times aside loads hauled were reduced in size and the addition of further clean up equipment (road sweepers) did at least ensure that spillage was reduced.

“Phew!” thought the ‘Quaystone Cops’ we are of the hook and they announced there would be no further action. Sadly for them in tandem with their announcement was another large deposit of silt (estimates vary between 4-24 bucket fills) as a bolt apparently sheered on one of the vehicles departing the lower town area.

If one assumes that a further investigation is underway – one assumes wrong! Police told one complainant (get this) unless he had witnessed the incident they cannot investigate. Extrapolate that to other policing issues on the Island and make whatever sense of it that you will.

Meanly in a final absurd turn to this POLICE FARCE. Police responding to a query from an MHK about levels of contaminants said they had ‘been guided by DEFA’ on contamination levels. As DEFA are the body who issued the dump licence that will have been objective guidance we can be sure.

In a final twist they said they could not release the information (to the MHK) because it was ‘not owned by the Constabulary’.

They cannot see anything, they cannot do anything, they cannot release anything…they just cannot!

J B Moffatt (Mr
Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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