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Friday, 15 July 2011

Police Increase Presence in Portsmouth as the English Defence League Plans Demonstration (UK)

Police from across the two counties will be in Portsmouth this weekend to help facilitate peaceful protest by members of the English Defence League. 

Officers will be on duty in the city centre on the morning of the event on the 16th July to minimise disruption to the community and shoppers. 

Superintendent Rick Burrows said: "Those still coming into Portsmouth should be aware that there will be more police around than usual to ensure peace is kept throughout the day, and whilst there will be traffic congestion, we will work to minimise the impact on your day. 

"Edinburgh Road will be closed from 10am until about 3pm and the main traffic congestion will occur around this area, the Guildhall Square and Gunwharf Quays area between 12.30pm and 2.30pm. 

"It is also worth bearing in mind that Portsmouth are playing Chelsea at home from 3pm and this will increase the chances of traffic congestion around the routes to Fratton Park. 

"We are continuing to engage with all parties involved in this protest event, and we have planned extensively to have the appropriate resources on duty throughout the day to ensure that any protest does not have an adverse impact on local communities. 

"Our message to those planning on coming to Portsmouth to protest is that you will be welcomed; we will facilitate your lawful protest, but we have to bear in mind the interest and needs of the wider community and, in doing so, we may ask you to abide by certain conditions.

"We expect all people taking part in the protest to do so peacefully and legitimately, but anyone intent on coming to engage in a confrontation or disorder will be robustly dealt with.    "We will be looking to protesters to self-police, and to work with us to ensure this protest is peaceful.

"We are grateful to Portsmouth City Council for its continued support and involvement, and look forward to a safe event that leaves no negative legacy for the communities of Portsmouth." 

Any member of the local community with concerns or intelligence about this event is invited to contact Inspector Greg Moore by dialling 101, or via e-mail at: Gregory.moore@hampshire.pnn.police.uk 

The very latest information for media and the public will be available via the constabulary's Twitter account, follow @HantsPolice, and on the force website special events page:   http://www.hampshire.police.uk/Internet/news/EDL_Demonstration.htm