Demonstrators from the English Defence League have been slapped with a two-hour time limit on their protests in a fresh bid to prevent scenes of violence which have marred previous visits.
West Midlands Police had also told the group that their protest must take place in Centenary Square and must be over by 3pm. Conditions have also been imposed on the community event, ‘Unity and Celebration of Differences’ and any counter demonstration.
Organisers have been told that their event can last no longer than three-and-a-half hours and must be over by 4pm. They must also confine the activities to Chamberlain Square.
The EDL said they were expecting between 700 to 2,500 of its members to turn up. The last time the far-right group was in Birmingham was in 2009 and it ended in ugly scenes of violence and dozens of arrests as they clashed with members of the Unite Against Fascism (UAF).
Asst Chief Con Marcus Beale, who will lead the policing operation, said: “We have to balance the desires of those involved with the safety requirements for the event, and ultimately this has to take precedence.
“We want people to feel reassured and in response to community concerns, we will be staging a large-scale operation on the day to ensure that everyone who comes to the city centre, be it to take part in the protests, or to go about their day to day business, can do so in safety.”