POLICE forces across the country are sharing intelligence on protesters who could cause trouble at a far-Right group’s planned demonstration in Yorkshire.
Every available police officer in Bradford will be on duty tomorrow, when members of the English Defence League (EDL) are due to gather in the city’s Urban Gardens.
West Yorkshire Police revealed that specially trained officers from “a significant number of other forces” will also be mobilised to prevent a repeat of the riots which devastated the city in 2001 following an attempted march by the National Front.
Home Secretary Theresa May has authorised a blanket ban on marches in the city, but the EDL and their opponents, Unite Against Fascism, are still expected to hold static demonstrations.
They are expected to attract more protesters than attended an EDL demonstration in Leeds last year, which cost the taxpayer 345,000 in policing costs.
Drinking alcohol will be banned on all trains to and from Bradford and all Transpennine Express services from Manchester to Leeds.
Bradford South divisional commander Chief Superintendent Alison Rose said that, in the event of trouble, she “would not rest” until the people responsible were brought to justice.
“After the events of 2001, nearly 600 years imprisonment was given out in total by the judge in that case and some of those people were immediately deported from this country on their release,” she added.
“We have the full support of our criminal justice partners in Bradford and anybody intent on causing harm, irrespective of their political or ethnic background, should bear that in mind on Saturday.”
Ch Supt Rose said police, Bradford Council and other agencies had spent most of the year preparing for a protest as the city had “been on the EDL’s radar for quite a while”.
“We know only too well the repercussions of serious public disorder and we have worked tirelessly to make sure that doesn’t happen, nor is there any likelihood of people being put in any kind of jeopardy in this city on Saturday.”
Bradford Council leader Ian Greenwood said all the authority’s neighbourhood staff, wardens and youth workers would be on duty to “try to ensure that nobody has reason to be bored on Saturday”.
A community event celebrating multiculturalism, called “Be Bradford – Peaceful Together”, is to be held at Infirmary Fields, the scene of some of the worst violence during the 2001 riots.
Coun Greenwood said: “We will stop people from fomenting extreme political views in the community, whichever side of the fence they come from.”