One arrest in Britain First ‘Day of Action’ in Wolverhampton
A Manchester man has been arrested for a public order offence at a Britain First demonstration in Wolverhampton today (Saturday 12 August).
The group, numbering around 40, clashed with opposing United Against Fascism supporters as police officers were quickly deployed to the city centre to ensure the groups remained apart and disruption to shoppers was kept to a minimum.
Anthony Walker, aged 50 from Gerald Road, Salford, was charged with using threatening or abuse words or behaviour with intent to cause fear or provoke unlawful violence and bailed to appear at Walsall Magistrates Court on Friday 25 August.
There was an allegation that a corrosive substance was hurled at Britain First demonstrators, but no injuries were reported and, although officers chased the offender, he was able to evade arrest.
Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 notices were served on both sets of protesters instructing them where to protest in order to keep the groups separate and the groups moved on around 2pm leaving the city centre to return to normal, although retail outlets reported that business had been severely affected throughout the demonstration.
Chief Superintendent Dave Sturman, from the Force Operations Department, said: “The right to demonstrate is a fundamental human right and we have a duty to facilitate peaceful protests, however we had not been given prior notice of today’s event leaving little time to prepare.
“However our policing response was swift and robust ensuring that confrontation was kept to a minimum and the city of Wolverhampton returned to normality as soon as possible.”