EDL demo: Message from Calderdale’s top cop

CALDERDALE’S top cop has reassured residents police will be doing all their can to ensure today’s English Defence League protest is peaceful.

In a message to the public, Divisional Commander of the district Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern says: “In early June the English Defence League (EDL) announced its intention to hold a protest in Halifax on July 9.

“West Yorkshire Police have a great deal of experience in managing such protest which have previously taken place in Leeds, Bradford and Dewsbury.

“There have also been small scale demonstrations in Halifax previously.

“I want to reassure the people of Halifax that we are doing all that we can to ensure the protests are peaceful and that residents will experience as little disruption as possible. We have been planning for this event for several weeks.

“The English Defence League protest will be between 11am and 2pm in the Eureka car- park. Eureka itself is closed for the day

“There will be a counter protest between noon and 3pm. This is taking place in the community space at King Cross at the junction of King Cross Road with Wainhouse Road.

“We recognise the legal and democratic right of people to demonstrate peacefully and our responsibility to facilitate peaceful protest.

“However, we also need to ensure that there is no serious disruption to the life of the community. We have been working closely with our partners to manage and plan for the event.

“We are doing all that we reasonably can to minimise disruption in the town on the day and will have a visible police presence in the town. Local officers will be around to reassure and assist you – please speak to them if you have any concerns.

“Shops are staying open in Halifax but all pubs will be closed until later in the day.

“Motorists should expect traffic disruption in and around Halifax on the day with restricted access to Crossley Street at its junctions with Princess Street and Town Hall Street East.

“The Elland bypass (Calderdale Way) will be closed throughout the day due to resurfacing work.

“The rail networks will also be busier than usual.”

*Keep visiting www.halifaxcourier.co.uk for more updates throughout the day