Disruption in Bradford city centre as anti-lockdown protest turns ugly

An anti-lockdown protest is causing chaos in Bradford city centre.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 2:53 pm
Updated Saturday, 27th March 2021, 6:20 pm

There is a heavy police presence in the city, where hundreds of people initially gathered in Centenary Square for an event called 'The North Unites Rally'.

But scuffles have broken out between police and protesters as the demonstration spread to the different areas of the city centre.

Fights appear to have broken out as marchers tried to break through a human wall of police officers around Centenary Square.

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All bus services are currently unable to access the city centre, according to Metro Travel News.

Bus operator First West Yorkshire tweeted: "Bradford City Centre has been closed by the police.

" At this time we are unable to go in/out of the centre."

West Yorkshire Police said in a statement issued at 6pm on Saturday: "At 1pm today (27 March) a demonstration involving up to 400 people began in Centenary Square, Bradford. The groups included anti-lockdown protestors and anti-vaccination groups as well as anti government protesters. Many of those who attended were not believed to have been from the Bradford area.

Bradford city centre.

"Whilst the majority of protesters were peaceful, some protesters attempted to cause disruption by making their way to a vaccination centre in the city.

"Officers intervened to stop this from happening. At no time were any vaccination centres or testing centres affected.

"Currently 13 people have been arrested on suspicion of a number of offences including public order.

"Also 19 people were issued fixed penalty notices for breaching covid regulations and a number of Dispersal orders were issued.

"Nine officers were injured.

T/ACC Oz Khan of West Yorkshire Police said: "We are grateful to the communities of Bradford, who have attended the protest in a peaceful way. However there was a group of people who had travelled from outside the Bradford District to cause trouble.

"Protest policing is challenging and complex – and even more so during these unprecedented times and public safety is, and always will be the police’s top priority.

"There was a small group of protesters who tried to break away from the protest and make their way to a vaccination clinic, officers intervened to stop this from happening.

"The majority of people were peaceful, and I am pleased to say there was no significant disorder.

"West Yorkshire Police is continuing to work hard to keep the public safe during the ongoing threat from Coronavirus."

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