Twelve people have been arrested for 'public order offences' after English Defence League demonstrators clashed with protesters in Liverpool.
Merseyside Police said they used the Public Order Act to disperse the planned EDL demonstration 'in the interests of public safety.'
Deputy Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: "Following a number of arrests for public order offences and increasing animosity between both groups the decision was made to disperse those involved in the EDL procession in the interests of the safety of those working, living and visiting the city centre.
"At some points members of the left wing were seen to throw darts, and flares were also activated.
"The safety of the public is paramount and due to the rising tensions between both groups the decision was made to halt the procession using Section 12 of the Public Order Act."
Anti-fascist protesters were later moved back by police as the procession moved onto Lime Street, with a police containment.
Police vans and officers in riot gear then separated the two groups.
The march was brought to a standstill outside Lime Street station as anti-fascist protesters sat in the middle of the road.
Bottles were seen being thrown between the groups and loud bangs, believed to be firecrackers, were heard.
Dept Cons Foulked added: "Officers from Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire and North Wales forces, as well as British Transport Police, were involved in the police operations.
"I would like to thank members of the public and businesses in the city centre for their patience as this matter was dealt with."