No arrests from EDL visits

EDL supporters at Sowerby Bridge Railway Station
EDL supporters at Sowerby Bridge Railway Station

Supporters of the far-right English Defence League stopped off in Hebden Bridge last night (Sat).

Several groups returning from a demonstration in Rochdale visited pubs.

Police said there were no arrests.

Earlier in the day, up to 150 supporters from all over the north and midlands congregated in Sowerby Bridge on route to Lancashire.

Emma Tordoff, general manager of the Moorings, Sowerby Bridge, said she was disappointed police didn’t give advance warning to publicans of the impending arrival of EDL supporters.

But, police said they were dealing with a fluid operation and resources were in place to deal with any disturbance.

Sgt Darren Bedford said contingency plans were put in place to deal with the influx.

“We knew of the EDL march in Rochdale and the possibility they would come into the area but didn’t know where,” he said.

“We put contingency plans in place and had sufficient numbers of officers.

“Some people may see it as a slow response, but in fact nothing happened and we responded as quickly as needed.”

Eleven people were arrested for public order offences during the protest in Rochdale.

About 400 EDL supporters were at the demonstration, which followed the conviction of a group for child-grooming offences.

There was a heavy police presence with around 500 officers on duty.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Supt John O’Hare said 11 arrests was not uncommon for an event of that size.

Last summer several EDL supporters were arrested in Halifax after a demonstration led to public disorder offences and disrupted business for traders.