Published on Saturday, 13 October 2012 21:27 Written by Lynn Hall
Eight hundred extra police have been on duty today (Saturday)in Rotherham due to demonstrations between the English Defence League and United Against Fascism.
It is estimated around 300 English Defence League (EDL) members took part in the march while around half that number demonstrated against the EDL.
South Yorkshire Police say the demonstrations passed 'without any significant disorder.’
EDL members congregated on Bridgegate before marching towards the Town Hall for a number of public speeches. United Against Fascism supporters also marched to the Town Hall after congregating in All Saints Square.
South Yorkshire Police made three arrests. One man was arrested on suspicion of public order including making threats towards a police officer, a second man was arrested on suspicion of affray and a third man was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon.
Some roads in the town centre were temporarily closed but have since fully reopened.
Assistant Chief Constable Andy Holt said: “I’m pleased that the demonstrations passed without significant disruption today and that the residents of Rotherham were able to go about their usual business as much as possible.
“I’d like to thank the organisers from both groups, local businesses, residents and the wider community for their co-operation.”
Karl Battersby, Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, said it was good to see Rotherham returning to normal and that disruption had been kept to a minimum.
"Today’s event has been an unwanted distraction from the usual Saturday business, at a time when Rotherham town centre has received much praise for the way in which it has responded to the recession.
“We are proud of our diverse communities, and also the way in which the agencies in Rotherham - such as ourselves and South Yorkshire Police - are able to work side by side to support local people. Today’s events – respecting the right to a peaceful protest and ensuring they passed without significant incident – is a reflection of the real Rotherham, and our ability to unite under the banner of One Town One Community”
Credit: Postcode Gazette