12 Arrested Following Blackburn Protests
Police have thanked the majority of demonstrators and local communities after demonstrations in Blackburn passed off relatively peacefully.
The English Defence League and opposing groups held events at agreed sites in the town centre on Saturday 2 April. Whilst there were some scuffles amongst EDL supporters during the demonstrations and a small group of EDL supporters broke away from the main demonstration area, these incidents were quickly brought under control by police. Only 12 arrests were made and these were mainly public order offences.
Bob Eastwood from Lancashire Police said: "We estimate that around 2,000 EDL and about 500 counter demonstrators took part in today's events. Although there were minor scuffles amongst the EDL demonstrators, there was no significant disorder. The events have passed mostly without incident and I would like to thank the local community for their help and tolerance during the events and the lead up to them. All our officers and staff should also be commended for their efforts, as well as those who have worked alongside us from other organisations, in particular Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, community volunteers, marshalls and mediators. The aim of the policing operation was to allow for peaceful protests which we have demonstrated is possible through careful planning and successful communication at all levels."
Harry Catherall, Deputy Chief Executive from Blackburn and Darwen added; "I would like to thank local people and traders for their perseverance during what has been a difficult time and I am pleased the majority of the town centre remained open for business and the events passed off relatively peacefully."