Police face ‘abuse’ claim over campaign

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THE organiser of a protest against the axing of a police mounted section claims he was threatened with an injunction and arrest in an effort to stop it going ahead.

Mike Dickenson is expecting hundreds to attend Sunday’s march in Beverley – as well as dozens of off-duty police officers.

He claims he was visited by an officer on Monday, raising health and safety concerns and saying he could be landed with a substantial bill if it caused an obstruction: “Eventually he said: ‘You are not going to give up’ and we said: ‘Yes, it’s going ahead’ and as he left he said don’t be surprised if you get a prohibition order on Sunday morning and if it does continue you will be arrested and in court on Monday morning.”

A petition has collected 2,000 signatures against the plan, which is intended to save £500,000.

Euro MP Godfrey Bloom, a keen rider who will be taking part, said: “You couldn’t make it up. This is a complete abuse of power.”

More than 470 people have posted “likes” on a Facebook campaign against the scrapping of the section.

Humberside Police’s superintendent of operations in the East Riding, Darren Downs, said police would take “appropriate action on the day to address any danger to the community.”

He said: “Police are amenable to facilitating peaceful protests and will work with those wishing to undertake them to ensure they take place without incident.

“However, on this occasion the organiser has been unwilling to engage with us or listen to advice and guidance in relation to public safety. Public safety is our priority and we must ensure the event does not present a risk to those participating or bystanders,” he added.