Friday 15 December 2017

Appeal for calm at Defence League rally

Tom Wilkinson

Police expect an English Defence League (EDL) march and a counter-demonstration to pass off peacefully despite admitting the shocking Woolwich murder "may have heightened community concerns" about the events.

The EDL planned several months ago to hold a national gathering in Newcastle this bank holiday weekend, as it did three years ago.

Opponents calling themselves Newcastle Unites have also been in consultation with Northumbria Police to organise a counter-demonstration tomorrow afternoon.

The event in 2010 passed off without any arrests, and a strong police presence kept EDL supporters and their opponents well apart that day.

Northumbria Police said it expected a similar outcome this time, despite the shocking events in Woolwich.

Newcastle area commander chief superintendent Gary Calvert said: "There haven't been any incidents or issues locally and there's nothing to suggest anything is going to happen here.

"However, there are extra patrols out across the force area to reassure communities."

Irish Independent

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