Controversial Demos Pass Off Peacefully

3 May 2011, 10:42 | Updated: 3 May 2011, 10:47

Police say demos by the English Defence League (EDL) and a local counter-demonstration in Weymouth at the weekend passed off peacefully.

Police Officers from both Dorset and Wiltshire were present in the town to respond to the notifications to hold the demonstrations at the Pier Bandstand and on the Esplanade opposite the Pavilion on Saturday (30th April).

Approximately 300 EDL supporters gathered at the Pier Bandstand at 1.30pm whilst a group of approximately 50 people met opposite the Pavilion. The Policing operation was centred on keeping the two groups separate during the demonstrations whilst facilitating peoples' right to protest peacefully and lawfully.

There were no arrests as a result of either assembly.

Dorset Police along with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and Dorset County Council worked together to inform people about the events and reduce dispruption.

Chief Inspector Nick Maton was in charge of the policing operation. He said: “This was a proportionately policed event and I am pleased with the outcome and overall good nature of both groups.”

Neighbourhood Chief Inspector Gemma Morris said: “I would like to thank the local community, residents and traders in Weymouth for their patience and tolerance on this bank holiday weekend. Where possible, we have attempted to minimise any disruption in the town.

“The overall conduct by both demonstrating groups has also contributed to the successful outcome of the operation, to date. I would appeal for this responsible behaviour to continue over the remainder of the weekend as normality is restored.”

Members of the public with any concerns about the demonstrations should contact their local Safer Neighbourhood Team by calling 01305 222 222.