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7 February 2016, 09:01
Police have defended the number of officers used to police a far-right rally in Birmingham yesterday.
Solihull Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Alex Murray, said: "We’ve been planning the operation for months; the collective efforts of our officers, Solihull Council, partner agencies, protest organisers and community groups helped ensure the event passed off without any serious disorder.
"We had a large police presence on the ground, including protest liaison officers, in order to deal effectively with any issues. But we were confident the rally would be peaceful: our negotiations with Pegida representatives were positive and they stressed their intentions to express their views lawfully.
"Disruption was kept to a minimum − Bickenhill Lane was closed temporarily to allow for protestors to walk from Birmingham International to the demo point but hopefully it didn’t hugely inconvenience motorists or local businesses."
West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, added: "I would like to thank the police for their thorough, sensible planning which has helped ensure the event remained peaceful.
"Protests like this have a knock-on effect on the force's ability to deliver non-emergency policing. I sincerely hope this is the last protest of its sort that we see here for a good long while. The West Midlands is a place where people live side by side happily…it is sad when people from outside the region try to undermine that."