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Friday, 1 October 2010

Police scour CCTV as net closes in on protest yobs (UK)

Police have warned that the net is closing in on anyone who broke the law during demonstrations in Bradford city centre at the end of August.

Officers are trawling through hours of CCTV footage from Saturday, August 28, when members of the far-right English Defence League and supporters of the rival Unite Against Fascism group protested in the city centre.

On the day, about 700 EDL supporters were corralled by police into the Bradford Urban Garden while about 300 UAF followers arrived at Crown Court Plaza.

At least 1,400 police officers were on hand to ensure that missile-throwing by EDL supporters did not escalate into the type of terrifying disturbances that rocked the city nine years ago.

During the day, 13 people were arrested for public order offences – eight of them being from Bradford and the others from Wakefield, Leeds, Wolverhampton, Walsall and Birmingham.

One female police officer suffered a minor injury when the EDL tried to surge through the police ranks.

Now police have moved to reassure the public that the detailed investigation is continuing to bring to justice those who committed offences but were not arrested on the day.

Chief Superintendent Alison Rose, Divisional Commander of Bradford South Police, said: “As we said at the very beginning of this operation, those who involved themselves in disorder during the demonstrations will not go unnoticed.

“Although the policing of the day was a success and went extremely well, some individuals were seen to be committing offences and were captured on CCTV.

“Like any large-scale operation, it is not always possible to tackle every single incident at the time and this is where our follow-up inquiries begin.

“No-one is above the law and we will be using the CCTV footage to pick this minority out and deal with them.

“Anyone found to be part of the disorder will be identified and we will be working with the Crown Prosecution Service which will take the appropriate action.”

Police have now been able to collate all the CCTV footage from the event and a dedicated team is scrutinising the images to seek out those responsible.

Ch Supt Rose said: “It will take some considerable time to complete this work. I would therefore ask members of the public to take this on board and be confident that the police will investigate matters fully.”

Bradford Council leader Councillor Ian Greenwood said: “The excellent police operation on the day of the protests maintained public safety.

“I have every confidence that the police will investigate thoroughly any incidents of disorder captured on CCTV footage.”

Coun Greenwood said he would like to thank the police and the wide range of organisations which helped to manage the protests.

He said: “Their hard work, co-operation and positive influence were magnificent. I would also like to thank all local people who showed their opposition – in a peaceful, positive and dignified way – to people from outside the district using their city as a venue for protests.”

Telegraph and Argus