March police prepare for English Defence League supporters to converge on town for Peterborough protest
POLICE are on standby in case as many as 1,000 English Defence League supporters converge on March tomorrow.
They have received information that supporters from East Anglia may head for the town on their way to a rally in Peterborough.
The organisation actively protests against what its members see as the militant rise of Islam in communities. Thousands of protesters are expected in Peterborough for a march through the city at 1pm on Saturday.
In an e-mail to March town councillors, Insp Rob Hill, Sector commander at March police station, said: “Whilst the main event is happening in Peterborough, I have received intelligence that �supporters from the East Anglian region will be meeting in March before catching buses/trains to Peterborough.
“Estimated numbers vary from 200 to 1,000. They are expected around �breakfast time and will be moving to Peterborough at around 11am.
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“There is no suggestion that any� �disorder will take place in March town, but with such numbers there is a� �likelihood that drunken incidents may take place either in the morning or evening when some of the group is expected to return.”
Supt Paul Fullwood said: “There will be a visible police presence in and around the town to assist with maintaining business as usual.
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“This week officers have been visiting businesses in the area to advise them of the potential increased visitors to the town.”
Organisers of celebrations at March Railway station, planned to �commemorate the 125th �anniversary of the opening of a platform for �passengers, have changed their plans after receiving advice.
Fenland District Council’s Street Pride Co-ordinator Jeanette Millner, said: “The train from March to Peterborough runs at 11.15am.
“We have tweaked the schedule of the celebrations to finish slightly earlier than the 11am originally planned.
“We are going to have a heavy police presence to keep the peace but we do not anticipate any problems because they want to get to Peterborough and if they cause problems here they will not get there.”
Organiser of the Peterborough rally, Guramit Singh, said he did not know of any plans for supporters to meet in March.
He said: “I cannot speak on behalf of everyone but I have not heard about this.
“There are strict rules for this march and anyone who does not abide by them is unlikely to get to the �demonstration.”
Mr Singh praised Cambridgeshire police for working with the �organisation to help make sure the event goes off peacefully.
• For more information about the protests visit www.cambs.police.uk, follow the policing operation via Twitter ‘@SuptPaul’ or e-mail questions to email@example.com