Violence flares at English Defence League protest in Leicester
Officers wearing riot gear and dog handlers worked to keep a crowd of EDL supporters under control as bricks and coins were thrown at police. The EDL held a static demonstration and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) staged a counter-protest in the Humberstone Gate East area of the city.
At least 1,400 officers were drafted in from 12 other forces to deal with the demonstrations, the city's largest policing operation in 25 years.
EDL supporters arrived from across the country in coaches throughout the morning. They were permitted to gather ahead of the protests in Hotel Street, Leicester, with police monitoring the groups in four different pubs.
With many wearing EDL branded hoodies and carrying banners, they met in and around the pubs, monitored by officers and police evidence gatherers. Some chanted ''EDL, EDL" while others carried banners reading slogans including "Sharia laws will destroy Britain and all our British values''.
Before the protests started, police said one person was arrested for drugs offences and another three people were also arrested.
Earlier this week, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, authorised a blanket ban on marches in Leicester, but the groups were still permitted to hold static demonstrations in Humberstone Gate East in the city from 2pm to 3.30pm. The area was shut down by police today, with rival groups placed either side of metal barriers.
Much of the city centre appeared quiet and some shops were boarded up near to the protest site.
Police were using Section 14 of the Public Order Act which meant officers could take action against anyone who protests outside that place and time. They were also using stop and search powers, and were supported by the dog unit, mounted unit and East Midlands Air Support Unit.
At one point a policeman was put into a buggy-style ambulance on a stretcher. Some EDL protesters were also treated by police medics, it is unclear what their injuries were.
Police said around 1,000 EDL supporters had turned up and approximately 700 UAF demonstrators.
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