Three arrests made at largely peaceful protests

EDL march towards Scarborough town centre
EDL march towards Scarborough town centre

Officers made three arrests at demonstrations held in Scarborough but the protest and counter-protest remained predominantly peaceful.

North Yorkshire Police and Scarborough Borough Council have thanked residents, businesses and shoppers for their patience and support during the demonstrations.

Approximately 150 members of the English Defence League (EDL) took part in the march along Newborough towards the town centre where demonstration speeches were held in Scarborough town centre this afternoon (November 28).

There were also around 70 counter-protestors from Unity - a range of groups including Unite Against Fascism, Unite the Union and Scarborough People's Assembly who opposed the presence of the EDL.

A 59-year-old local woman and two local men, aged 54 and 21, were arrested for breach of the peace. This followed a formal notice issued by North Yorkshire Police under Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986, which instructed the group from Unity to move to the designated site on Aberdeen Walk.

Neighbourhood officers, council community workers and other leaders from the community were present throughout the day in Scarborough to keep residents informed and to offer reassurance.

Support was also provided by the British Transport Police to keep people safe on their travels.

Superintendent Dave Hannan, Head of Specialist Operations at North Yorkshire Police, said: "Together with Scarborough Borough Council and our community partners, we have well-rehearsed plans in place for dealing with these kind of events. The detailed planning that has gone into managing Saturday's demonstration has ensured it has passed off without significant issue.

"It is disappointing that the three arrests we had to make during the demonstration could have been avoided, but in general those taking part on both sides behaved peacefully.

"In particular, we are pleased to have minimised disruption for businesses, residents and people shopping in Scarborough town centre on one of the busiest shopping days in the run-up to Christmas.

"I sincerely thank the local community for their support, understanding and patience throughout this challenging event."

Paul Thompson from Scarborough Borough Council said: "Today has shown how important it is for us to work together to deal effectively with these kind of events. Together with North Yorkshire Police and our other community partners we enabled the town centre to remain open for business while at the same time facilitating peaceful protest, which we were obliged to do. We are confident that inconvenience was kept to a minimum.

"We thank all businesses and members of the public for bearing with us and taking on board our advice before and during the demonstrations; this support has been invaluable in helping us manage the event effectively."