Arrests at Brighton anti-immigration demo

Brighton seafront confrontation
Image caption Demonstrators confronted rival groups on Brighton seafront

Twelve people have been arrested after police received reports of assault and criminal damage involving a large group of masked men in Brighton.

Sussex Police said the arrests were made in London Road in connection with an anti-immigration demonstration in nearby Ship Street at 09:27 BST.

About 400 rival pro-refugee demonstrators met at Brighton station and marched to the seafront.

Anti-fascists also confronted a group attending a Great Skinhead Reunion.

BBC South East correspondent tweeted the march had ended back at the station, where all was calm.

Police said officers had enforced Section 60AA of the Public Order Act, which gives them the right to remove people's face masks if they are felt likely to be involved in criminal activity or violence and to be concealing their identity.

Image caption About 400 pro-refugee demonstrators marched from the station to the seafront
Image caption Skinheads also gathered in Brighton to attend a reunion weekend

"We're confident that having made a number of arrests at such an early stage, we have significantly reduced the risk of disruption and disorder in the town centre," said Ch Supt Nev Kemp.

"Unfortunately, whilst the vast majority of demonstrators act peacefully, a small minority appear to have come with the intention to cause problems."

The 12 men were arrested on suspicion of breach of peace and remain in police custody.

Police said on Thursday they were aware of demonstrations being advertised on social media but no group had notified them of the event.

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