Video: Large police presence continues in Norwich tonight following earlier arrests at English Defence League march
This afternoon’s successful police operation to keep the English Defence League (EDL) march in Norwich under control will continue into tonight.
Norwich policing commander, Superintendent Paul Sanford, said the EDL and counter protest march by We Are Norwich had been ‘challenging’ but police had ‘met their objective’ of facilitating two lawful protests.
Around 400 police officers from 11 forces, including Norfolk and a mounted division from Essex, policed the event.
An increased police presence will now remain in Norwich during the course of this evening.
Supt Sanford said: “We will be continuing with the operation throughout this evening until we feel it is the appropriate time to stand down.
12 noon – 22-year-old man from Norwich arrested in Theatre Street on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon.
1.20pm – 44-year-old man from Telford, Shropshire, arrested in Castle Meadow on suspicion of assault.
3.12pm – 45-year-old man from Bletchley, Milton Keynes, arrested on Gaol Hill on suspicion of committing a public order offence.
3.15pm – 28-year-old man from Norwich arrested in Prince of Wales Road on suspicion of committing a public order offence.
“Many of the officers who came from further afield have returned to their duties but we still have a significant presence in the city tonight.”
Many of the EDL supporters had come to the march from outside of East Anglia, including from the West Midlands, and have now returned on trains and coaches.
However there are still plenty of people from both groups expected to be in the city this evening and scuffles had continued after the march finished, including an arrest on Prince of Wales Road, which can be seen in the video above.
Overall Supt Sanford said he was very pleased with the work of his officers to contain a difficult situation though, saying: “I am really pleased with the outcome of today’s policing operation. At times it was challenging for officers but we successfully met our objectives of allowing the two groups to protest, which was their legal right.
“The event was largely peaceful but we acted swiftly and robustly to any signs of disorder.
“I would like to thank those who supported the peaceful event to members of the public and local businesses for their time and patience during the marches.
“We received some fantastic comments from the public during the protest to thank the police for their support.”
- For more information, photos and videos of this afternoon, see the links at the top-right of this page.