Leicester EDL & UAF 2012: A Success
5 February 2012, 09:31
Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole has sent a public thank you to the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland after trouble free demonstrations.
Around 700 supporters from the English Defence League (EDL) and 200 from Leicester Unite Against Fascism (UAF) carried out separate marches in the city centre.
There were no arrests directly connected to the marches.
Mr Cole said: "The success of the operation is due to a number of factors, not least the support from Leicester City Council in preparing the city for today?s event and the co-operation of the Leicester public.
"The planning for this day began just two weeks ago with many officers and staff working extremely long hours working out the logistics, meeting with other Force colleagues, partners, businesses, community leaders to name but a few.
"Today more than 2,000 officers and staff were involved in policing the marches joined by colleagues from 17 others forces and to those we owe a huge debt of thanks for their support.?
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: "Today has passed without major incident and is a real testament to everyone involved - from the police and retailers to our own council officers.
"Whereas the last visit from the EDL ended in violence and the city being brought to a standstill, this year it has largely been business as usual.
"This goes to show that allowing the EDL and UAF to march was the right thing to do.
"The city has proven it takes more than a demonstration like this to pull our communities apart and that when the going gets tough, the city unites.
"It is now important to get our city back to normal. The Leicester Comedy Festival is in full swing and on Tuesday the city will be hosting the second Big Eat.
"I'd encourage residents to come into the city and take part to show that Leicester is a peaceful and warm city, with something for everyone."
Chief Superintendent Rob Nixon, city commander, said: "I would like to pay tribute to the way our communities in Leicester and local businesses have responded to the challenges of today.
"We appreciate the support we have received from the community and can now begin to get the city back to normal."
During the morning some of the protesters stopped at towns in Leicestershire on their way into the city but there was a policing operation in place across Leicestershire and Rutland to deal with this.
Chief Inspector Sanjiv Pattani, who was part of the team policing the wider counties today, said: ?There was a gathering of around 300 EDL supporters in the Nottingham Road area of Loughborough.
The supporters were good natured.
There were no incidents of disorder in anywhere the in the county and we would like to thank local people and businesses for their patience and support during the operation.
"We tried to keep people updated throughout the day and sent regular messages to nominated community members. This was well received and people told us they were grateful for being kept informed."