Two protest marches in Peterborough this weekend - police assure public it is business as usual
- Credit: Archant
Police are reassuring the public that it will be business as usual when two protest marches take place in Peterborough this weekend.
The force have released details of the routes of the EDL (English Defence League) protest and a counter protest by the Peterborough Trades Union Council (PTUC) on Saturday October 21 in the city.
The two marches follow consultation with Peterborough City Council, local community groups, local business representatives and follows negotiations with the EDL and the PTUC.
Gillian Beasley, Peterborough City Council chief executive, said: “We are working closely with the police to make sure this demonstration causes the minimum disruption possible to Peterborough.
“The city has a strong community spirit and the best thing people can do to support that unity and cohesion in the run up to, during, and after the protest, is to go about their business as usual.
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“The city centre will be open and I encourage people to visit as they would on any other Saturday.”
Supt Andy Gipp added: “Together with our partners, we are now experienced at dealing with this type of event and similar protests were managed effectively in 2010 and 2014.
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“These plans balance the concerns of local people and businesses in Peterborough, while responding to the requirements of the EDL and PTUC.
“It provides central locations for both protests while allowing the majority of businesses in the city to continue as usual.
“We understand that for businesses in the Rivergate area there will be an impact during the protest and we are working with those business owners, alongside the council, to minimise this and look at alternative ways of drawing in business over the weekend.
“At this stage we cannot confirm numbers likely to attend, albeit we have reason to believe it will not be as well attended as previous events organised by the EDL.
“As and when we have further information we will share this with the public through our various established links with the community.
“As public authorities, the constabulary and Peterborough City Council have a duty to support and facilitate people’s right to peaceful protest.
“Key to that process is ensuring we deal with any concerns people may have.”
The EDL march is planned to start at about 1pm in London Road, proceeding over the town bridge and past Bridge Street Police Station before congregating on Lower Bridge Street at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court.
Temporary road closures may be implemented in London Road and on Town Bridge while the protest takes place.
The PTUC will hold a static protest from about 11am in a section of the Key Theatre car park. Other areas of the car park will remain open to the public.
A multi-agency community group, involving police and the city council, has been set up to ensure the community are kept updated on information about the process and deal with any community concerns.