Norwich: Police Prepare for EDL March

10 November 2012, 11:31 | Updated: 10 November 2012, 11:35

Police in Norwich are making their final preparations for the EDL march in Norwich ciity centre.

The English Defence League and the "We Are Norwich" group in opposition are both staging marches on the same day and will meet outside City Hall.

The counter protesters will gather at Chapelfield Gardens at 11am before marching at 12.30pm to City Hall via Theatre Street, Brigg Street and Hay Hill. They will have speeches at approximately 1pm before dispersing.

At 12.45pm the EDL group will gather at Castle Gardens before also marching to City Hall at 1pm, via Castle Meadow, Opie Street, Bedford Street, Exchange Street and Gaol Hill. There they will have speeches at approximately 1.30pm before dispersing.

Police say there will be a substantial, visible policing presence in Norwich before, during and after the demonstrations to allow business as usual to continue for those not participating, and to ensure the safety of everyone in the city centre.

Norwich District Commander, Supt Paul Sanford, said: "Today's operation is about facilitating people's right to peaceful protest, while maintaining minimal disruption for the people of Norwich. Whilst we do not have any information to suggest that there will be any disorder, should any individuals behave in a criminal or anti-social manner, we will take swift action to deal with any such behaviour.

"Our message to anyone intent on causing trouble is clear and unequivocal – don't come to the city centre. At similar protests elsewhere in the country, some individuals sought to attach themselves to both the main protest group and other groups who came to stage a counter demonstration. They wanted to exploit the protest by behaving in a criminal or anti-social manner. Anyone planning a repeat of that should be in no doubt that they will be identified by Norfolk Constabulary and prosecuted.

"The police will also have significant back-up to ensure a fast, efficient and robust reaction where required. Our operation is supported by colleagues from other forces as well as specialist units and the Special Constabulary. There will also be additional officers in Norwich to ensure that our response to other, non-protest related incidents in the city and Norfolk as a whole is at the usual high standard our communities expect."