November 03, 2009

Police hoping BNP will move festival away from village

Derbyshire police say they hope the British National Party will confirm an alternative venue for its annual Red, White and Blue festival.

Speaking after a meeting last night, Superintendent Howard Veigas said the event, held for the past three years in Denby, led to "the same community suffering year after year" from the upheaval it brings to local residents.

Supt Veigas said: "The police do not feel it is a suitable location for the festival. We have great concerns that it is such an imposition and a huge disruption to the local community. But if it has to come back we will have to take on the organisation."

His comments came after BNP councillor Lewis Allsebrook told the meeting at Denby Church of England School, in Church Street, that the party was looking at "two or three alternative locations" for the event. Mr Allsebrook, who represents Heanor West on Amber Valley Borough Council, reiterated that the party may move its festival away from Derbyshire.

He said: "The BNP is looking at alternative sites. The decision would be made at a central level. We came here to listen to what everyone has had to say and we are going to take on board their views."

Around 20 villagers turned up at last night's meeting. Almost all praised the police for the way they handled this year's event, which saw 18 people arrested – four supporters of the BNP and 14 protesters. One man, who did not wish to be named, said: "It was a fantastic job by the police. I felt very secure knowing they were there."

Another resident told the meeting: "I think the police response was absolutely excellent in the way they handled the different interest groups."

Villagers at the meeting, which was organised by the police to seek residents' views on the way the force handled the event, were shown video footage taken from a police helicopter. It showed demonstrators, marshalled by officers and police on horseback, as they marched down Heanor Road to a designated protest point on Codnor-Denby Lane. Police formed a cordon but were pushed back twice as the protesters shoved their way through.

Chief Superintendent Garry Sherwood, Commander for the Constabulary's A Division, which covers Amber Valley, told the meeting: "It reminded me of when I started policing more than 20 years ago – a thin blue line with arms linked."

Derby Telegraph

1 comment:

Workingman said...

A few of the music festivals have recently been billed for the policing costs of their event. I wonder when the ole bill are gonna start charging the bnp with the policing of their nazi fete?!!

I really feel for the villagers, fingers crossed they dont move it near me tho.