Bill for policing Bradford demonstrations 'could be £500,000'

The bill for policing the English Defence League (EDL) protest in Bradford could be as much as £500,000.

It was a bigger police operation than that in Leeds last October when the EDL demonstrated – and that cost 300,000.

Police leave was cancelled for the rival demos by the far-Right EDL and their opponents, Unite Against Fascism/We Are Bradford (UAF).

Bradford Council spent 100,000 on the Urban Garden, where EDL protesters were contained, and further money went on re-surfacing the car park at Exchange Square where UAF campaigners were held.

Coun Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police Authority chairman, said the authority would have to "dig deep" to pay for the day of protest.

"It may be we shall try to secure some additional funding through Government grants," he said, "though given the financial climate we are in, I am not holding my breath on that."

Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe said he believed the Home Secretary should have the power to ban static demonstrations as well as marches.

Police made 14 arrests at the demonstration and have charged two men. One, from Bradford, is accused of possessing an offensive weapon, and the second, from Walsall, has been charged with a public order offence.

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