Kent

Arrests after Dover immigration demo rise to 17

Injured man in Dover protests Image copyright Gareth Fuller/PA
Image caption Several people were injured as fights broke out between the demonstrators

A total of 17 people have been arrested after anti-immigration demonstrators and counter-protesters clashed in Dover, police have said.

Police arrested seven people after a demonstration and march to the Eastern Docks and a separate protest in the town centre on Saturday,

One man has been charged with possessing a bladed instrument.

Ten people were also arrested after a disturbance at the nearby Maidstone services on the M20, Kent Police said.

One person was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and a further nine were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder. All ten have been released on bail.

Fights with bricks and bottles broke out in Dover as the two demonstrations met head-on, despite police attempts to keep them separate.

Marchers from far-right groups carried banners including the North West National Front, neo-Nazi organisation Combat 18 and the Scottish Defence League.

Image copyright Bat020
Image caption Several coaches were damaged as violence broke out a Maidstone services on the M20

Counter-demonstrators included Kent Anti-Racism Network, anti-fascist group Antifa and people with Socialist Worker placards.

A disturbance at the services, near junction eight of the M20, was reported at about 10:50 GMT, was thought to be linked to the demonstrations, police said.

"A number of people suffered non-life threatening injuries and coaches were damaged," a spokesman said.

Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover and Deal has criticised police for allowing two rival demonstrations to take place at the same time.

Kent Police said the law obliged it to facilitate peaceful protest.

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