Tyne & Wear

Police 'ready' for Newcastle EDL demonstration

EDL march
Image caption The EDL held a similar march in Newcastle three years ago

Police say they are "fully prepared" for an English Defence League (EDL) march in Newcastle, just days after the murder of a soldier in Woolwich.

Hundreds of EDL supporters are expected in the city on Saturday, for the event which was planned several months ago.

Northumbria Police said it expected the event to pass off peacefully, while admitting the Woolwich murder may have "heightened community concerns".

Drummer Lee Rigby was killed outside Woolwich Barracks on Wednesday.

Opponents of the EDL, calling themselves Newcastle Unites, have also been in consultation with Northumbria Police about a counter demonstration on Saturday afternoon.

Extra patrols

Ch Supt Gary Calvert said: "We appreciate that the events in London may have heightened community concerns about this weekend's planned protests in Newcastle.

"There haven't been any incidents or issues locally and there's nothing to suggest anything is going to happen here. However there are extra patrols out across the force area to reassure communities.

"We have adequate resources in place to deal with any eventuality.

"But we also recognise the impact such events have on local communities and appreciate some people may be concerned."

Some roads will close in Newcastle as the two marches pass through the city from opposite directions, both finishing some distance apart at around 14:00 BST.

Michael Adebolajo, 28 and Michael Adebowale, 22 are under guard in hospital after being arrested over Drummer Rigby's murder.

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