Saturday, 31 October 2009

Police and council thank public as demonstrations pass without serious incident

West Yorkshire Police and Leeds City Council have thanked the public and participants of today’s two demonstrations in Leeds for their patience and consideration, in what they view as a very successful policing operation.

There were a number of minor scuffles and eight arrests for minor offences were made during the day but, in the main, events passed peacefully. There were no reports of any injuries.

Over 2,000 people took part in the two protests in the city’s Victoria Gardens and City Square.

“The intention of the policing and council operation was to enable those with differing views to be able to express them peacefully and for the people of Leeds to go about their business safely, we are pleased with the way things have gone,” said Assistant Chief Constable Mark Gilmore, Commander in overall charge of the policing operation on the day.

“A great deal of West Yorkshire Police and Leeds City Council time was invested in planning and negotiations and we believe that investment paid off in the peaceful outcome today,” added ACC Gilmore.

Mr Gilmore paid tribute to the professionalism of officers and partners on the ground handling today’s events – the biggest demonstration in West Yorkshire for several years.

Cllr Richard Brett, leader of Leeds City Council added:

"I'm pleased that events today passed without serious incident and disruption.

"The careful planning and detailed coordination with the police was excellent, allowing people to demonstrate peacefully and the city operate as normal."

Update - EDL and UAF demonstrations in Leeds

The numbers of UAF supporters at Victoria Gardens has decreased significantly from around 1500 earlier to approximately 500.

Officers continue to monitor the demonstration around City Square where there are estimated to be around 900 people.

At the present time four people have been arrested for a number of public order offences.

Update - EDL and UAF demonstrations in Leeds

Around 300 to 400 protestors have gathered at the site of the UAF demonstration at Victoria Gardens.

A police cordon remains in place around the site of the demonstration.

Around 200-300 EDL supporters have been escorted from the railway station to City Square. They are currently being monitored in City Square by police officers as more demonstrators continue to arrive at the site.

There have been three arrests for minor public order offences.

Update - EDL and UAF Demonstrations in Leeds

The numbers of demonstrators in the city centre remains relatively low at this time.

Around 100 people gathering near to the site of the planned EDL demonstration.

There have been no arrests so far.

Leeds Art Gallery and Leeds City Museum have now closed for the day.