Sensible approach to policing demonstrators

From: John Martin, Westfield Close, Hotham, York.

AT last, some sensible comments frim Peter Staniforth (Yorkshire Post, October 21) re marches by the English Defence League.

I agree entirely with his words that the large police presence is due mainly to the collection of people opposing the marches. I get fed up of hearing the feeble comments by politicians and others in high places who suggest that the police forces should ban these demonstrations.

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Unless I am misinformed the procedure works as follows:


1. The EDL inform the police in the intended town chosen for the march of the intended time and date.

2. When this information is known to the “opposition” they then approach the police to notify of their intention to counter demonstrate.

3. The police then arrange 
for a massive show of 
presence (at great expense to the taxpayer) to keep the two 
factions from confronting each other.

It seems obvious to me that it is the police who are lacking in common sense.

What should happen is the following:

1. EDL give their date, and time to the force in question.

2. When the other faction approach the police, they should be told that the EDL have already said they intend to demonstrate on that date, therefore they can have their own demonstration the following week.

If this was done it would, in my opinion, lead to a larger but 
more peaceful EDL attendance and a much smaller one 
when the opposition have 
their demo the following 
week.

If any of either faction try to infiltrate on the “wrong” day they should be arrested and charged with breaching the peace.

In time less police would be needed with less cost to taxpayers. However, it would also mean the loss of nice overtime pay for the police officers!