Lincolnshire Talks: Should the EDL be forced to pay for the policing of their marches?

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The English Defence League will hold a protest in Boston on October 1 – Lincolnshire Day – but they will not have to pay for the policing of their march.

The far right movement have held many protests over the years throughout the UK, often forcing local forces to loan officers from other regions at great cost.

While Lincolnshire Police said that the figures for how much it cost to cover last year’s protest in Lincoln were not available, an 80-person protest in Bradford in November 2014 cost £300,000, and a 150-person protest in Oxford in April 2016 cost £117,000.

Over in neighbouring Nottinghamshire, Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping estimated an EDL protest in Nottingham in August 2016 cost £200,000 to police, with officers drafted from Greater Manchester, Durham, Lancashire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire.

What happened last time in Lincolnshire?

Last July the EDL led an anti-mosque protest in Lincoln. While the protest was peaceful, Lincolnshire Police stepped up resources with 200 officers patrolling the event of 120 EDL protestors.

Police led the EDL, who were singing  “no surrender” and “burn the poppy, burn the mosque” through Lincoln.

A counter-demonstration was organised by Lincoln Against Racism and Fascism, who chanted: “When the far right spread their racist lies, we fight back and organise.”

Lincolnshire Police Chief Superintendent Stuart Morrison said following the demonstration: “We had some minor incidents where people tried to get into pubs where they were not welcome and there’s been a little disruption to traffic but overall we consider today to have been a success.”

Boston Lincolnshire Day protest

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The EDL will be in Boston on October 1, calling on the government to begin Brexit negotiations and for immigration to be reduced in the town.

Lincolnshire Police are working with their partners, affected businesses, community groups and EDL organisers regarding the demonstration.

It is unclear at this stage how many people will be marching.

Boston’s view

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire Reporter asked people in Boston what they thought about the EDL having to pay for the policing of their marches in Lincolnshire.

Gav Scales said: “Nobody else does when they protest so why should they?”

Ron Copus said: “If it is a peaceful protest I can’t see why they should. It’s when the opposition starts shipping in activists that the problems start.”

Katie Fletcher said: “It is enshrined in law that everyone has the democratic right to protest peacefully. As Ron Copus says, if it’s peaceful what’s the issue? Unfortunately I doubt it will be.”

Shaun McGarry said: “They should pay for their own policing – local ratepayers should not have to fund a march that we don’t want.”

Karena Hall said: “They are nothing to do with Boston so yes.”

Chris Woods said: “They should not pay for it, but then if it is not a peaceful protest then they should get the full cost including the court cost.”

What do you think?

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Should the EDL have to pay for the policing of their marches in Lincolnshire? Post in the comments section below with your view.

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