CCTV review of EDL march could lead to more arrests

POLICE RESPONSE ... officers lined the streets to ensure Saturday's NEI/EDL protest march passed with relative calm.
POLICE RESPONSE ... officers lined the streets to ensure Saturday's NEI/EDL protest march passed with relative calm.
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POLICE are reviewing CCTV footage of a controversial protest march in South Shields in which seven people were arrested.

About 350 members of right-wing groups the English Defence League (EDL) and North East Infidels (NEI) took part in the march through the town on Saturday.

They set off at Fowler Street and travelled along Beach Road to a demonstration at the Wouldhave Memorial in Pier Parade.

The two groups – who claimed they were there to ‘protect the inalienable rights of all people to protest against radical Islam’s encroachment into the lives of non-Muslims’ – were met at Pier Parade by about 100 counter-protesters from South Tyneside Unites Against Fascism.

Six people were arrested for offences ranging from assault and affray to a breach of the peace during the protest, with a 49-year-old man from County Durham arrested before the start of the march on suspicion of making malicious communications on Twitter.

No further arrests have been made but a police spokesman said officers would carry out a review of footage from the day, such as CCTV and photographic evidence.

A police spokesman said: “It is normal practice to review CCTV footage after the event as a matter of course.”

The police response to the protest march was praised by South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck.

The Labour politician said: “Demonstrations like those we saw in Shields are always challenging for police, but our local force did an excellent job managing the situation.”

“I fully support police action against those who used last weekend’s march as an excuse to break the law, and who threaten our community’s safety.”

CCTV images have previously been used as part of successful appeals into public disorder.

Northumbria Police released CCTV images as part of a public appeal to find people they wanted to speak to in connection with violent clashes in Newcastle city centre on the day of April’s derby clash between Newcastle and Sunderland at St James’s Park.

Almost 50 people have been charged since, including two people aged just 12 who are accused of violent disorder.