10 November 2012

A successful policing operation saw two protest marches in Norwich pass off without major incident today.

Norwich Policing Commander Supt Paul Sanford said the English Defence League (EDL) and counter protest march by We Are Norwich had been ‘challenging’ but police had ‘met their objective’ of facilitating two lawful protests.

Around 400 police officers from eleven forces, including Norfolk, provided high profile policing for the event in the city.

An increased police presence will remain in Norwich during the course of this evening.
The EDL and We Are Norwich protesters took part in demonstrations, marching to City Hall where assemblies were held. Both groups dispersed at around 3pm.

Supt Sanford said: “I am really pleased with the outcome of today’s policing operation. At times it was challenging for officers but we successfully met our objectives of allowing the two groups to protest, which was their legal right.

“The event was largely peaceful but we acted swiftly and robustly to any signs of disorder.

“I would like to thank those who supported the peaceful event to members of the public and local businesses for their time and patience during the marches.

“We received some fantastic comments from the public during the protest to thank the police for their support.”

Four people were arrested during the course of the event, three have since been charged:

Scott Maddox, 22, of Beecheno Road, Norwich, charged with possession of an offensive weapon, namely a form of baton, and bailed to appear at Norwich Magistrates' Court on November 30.

Darrell Copeland, 45, of Dorchester Ave, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, charged with Section 4 Public Order, using threatening words or behaviour, bailed to appear at Norwich Magistrates' Court on November 26.

Matthew Berryman, 28, of Astell Road, Norwich, charged with Section 4 Public Order, using threatening words or behaviour, bailed to appear at Norwich Magistrates' Court on November 27.

A 44 year old man from Telford, Shropshire, arrested on suspicion of assault was later cautioned for a public order offence.

During a minor scuffle at Castle Meadow, one man suffered slight injuries. No other injuries were reported.

Police used Twitter and a free text service to ensure people were kept informed of key developments and to support business as usual for those not participating.

Follow us on Twitter

Follow Norfolk Police on Twitter to receive news and updates directly.