Planned Protest

West Midlands Police conducted a large-scale operation on Saturday 29th October to ensure that a planned protest in Birmingham city centre passed off safely.

Officers arrested four people as part of the operation. Police estimate around 500 EDL supporters attended the protest. Meanwhile around 120 attended the multi-faith celebration being held nearby.

West Midlands Police officers worked closely with communities and partner agencies including Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Ambulance and Fire Service, Birmingham city centre retailers and British Transport Police, to prepare for today's event.

policeWest Midlands Police also kept people up to date through regular updates on Twitter, Facebook and the force website.

ACC Marcus Beale, from West Midlands Police, said:

"This has been a successful operation, due in no small part to the excellent work with our partner agencies and representatives of our communities.

A great deal of mediation also went on behind the scenes with both the EDL and community event organisers to enable them to exercise their democratic right. That negotiation led to the two groups employing their own stewards who played a significant role in maintaining order.

Our priority will always be the safety of the public and protesters whilst ensuring events like these do not impact on the longer term stability of Birmingham's communities. Whilst we will always uphold the democratic right to protest, organisations intent on disorder or provoking violence will continue to be unwelcome in the West Midlands."

Cllr Allan Rudge, Birmingham City Council's lead for Community Cohesion, said:

"I have personally experienced the success of today's event in the city centre and thank the communities of Birmingham for their contribution.

Both groups complied with the orders and conditions placed upon them and the events passed peacefully and without any significant problems."