Police pre­pare for EDL march through town

Eight or nine goups are ex­pected from ‘the far left to the far right’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

Police said there could be be as many as 200 EDL pro­test­ers on the day and nine counter protests, with he­li­copters, horses, police dogs and riot police on standby if things turn vi­o­lent. It is the first time the con­tro­ver­sial group has marched through the town and fol­lows sim­i­lar marches through Slough, Berk­shire and Ayles­bury.

Ini­tially police ex­pected 250-300 pro­test­ers, but a sim­i­lar EDL march in Birm­ing­ham on the same day has drawn some away.

Police have said sig­nif­i­cant re­sources will be used to en­sure that all con­tin­gen­cies are man­aged, and the force ex­pects there to be sig­nif­i­cant cost for the day.

At a brief­ing held at High Wy­combe Police Sta­tion on Wed­nes­day (March 30), polic­ing area com­man­der Su­per­in­ten­dent Ed McLean said: “Lots of spe­cial­ist re­sources will come into Wy­combe, deal with the event, just as you see in Lon­don and ev­ery­where else. They will all go home and they will leave us with the town to man­age be­hind it.

“They’re all Thames Val­ley re­sources but they will come from across the whole of the force. So you will have pub­lic or­der of­fi­cers, the type you will see with shields if that were re­quired. They’re able to re­spond to a re­ally peace­ful protest to a vi­o­lent protest, so they can do with all of that. There are likely to be mounted horses, there are likely to be dogs, there will be uni­formed of­fi­cers, PCSOs. It is pos­si­ble that the he­li­copter may be used, so there will be all of the sorts of re­sources you ex­pect for an op­er­a­tion like that to al­low us to man­age it out there, and sat be­hind it you will have an in­ves­tiga­tive team.”

Pro­test­ers are ex­pected to ar­rive at the train sta­tion at around 1pm, and from there will march down Cas­tle Street to Frog­moore where they will make a num­ber of speeches.

Supt McLean said: “We’re ex­pect­ing in to­tal in­clud­ing the EDL over 1,000 peo­ple, so re­ally sig­nif­i­cant num­bers. From left wing or­gan­i­sa­tions, the EDL, peace­ful protests and var­i­ous oth­ers. I think the church and the var­i­ous groups here want to be there to hand out teas, cof­fees and cakes to show sol­i­dar­ity in the town.”

He added: “What we can’t cater for is a group of in­di­vid­u­als who just de­cide to turn up on the day and protest.

“If any­body does want to do any­thing they need to regis­ter as early as pos­si­ble be­cause if you don’t we’re not go­ing to be able to fa­cil­i­tate it, keep you safe and keep ev­ery­one else safe.”

The force has said it is as con­fi­dent as it can be the EDL will stick to their word but Supt McLean said it is not im­pos­si­ble for a splin­ter group to break away.

Chief in­spec­tor Re­becca Mears added: “There is go­ing to be eight or nine dif­fer­ent groups from the far right to the far left.

“We’re not there to make a com­ment about the mes­sage, we’re there to fa­cil­i­tate free speech, free­dom of assem­bly.”

Both of­fi­cers con­firmed the EDL in­tended for it to be a peace­ful march. BUCK­ING­HAMSHIRE has the third lowest num­ber of peo­ple claim­ing Job Seeker’s al­lowance in the coun­try, Bucks Busi­ness First has re­vealed.

New fig­ures by Bucks Busi­ness First show Buck­ing­hamshire’s claimant count fell by 13 in Fe­bru­ary to stand at 2,285 or 0.7 per cent of work­ing age res­i­dents, which is the third lowest rate among both the 27 county coun­cil ar­eas and the 39 Lo­cal En­ter­prise Part­ner­ships

Buck­ing­hamshire’s claimant count has fallen by more than a quar­ter over the last year, fall­ing faster than the na­tional rate for the first time since March 2015. How­ever, de­spite the fall at the county level, the num­ber of Buck­ing­hamshire wards where the claimant count is not be­low the na­tional rate rose two to seven in Fe­bru­ary, with rises of six claimants in the Chiltern ward of Ridge­way, in Che­sham, and the South Bucks ward of Den­ham North be­ing enough to raise their claimant count rates by 0.3 per­cent­age points to 1.8 and 1.7 per cent re­spec­tively.

This in­crease means the wards of Ridge­way and Den­ham North have been added to the five wards in High Wy­combe.

At 1.9 per cent Oakridge and Castle­field (Wy­combe) has the highest claimant count rate among the 108 wards in Buck­ing­hamshire.

There were 305 Buck­ing­hamshire res­i­dents aged 18 to 24 in re­ceipt of Job Seeker’s Al­lowance in Fe­bru­ary, the lowest level recorded since com­pa­ra­ble records be­gan in 2006, hav­ing fallen 92.6 per cent since Septem­ber 2009’s peak of 2,020.

There were 5,423 ad­ver­tised job open­ings in Buck­ing­hamshire in Fe­bru­ary, up from 4,597 in Fe­bru­ary 2015. Va­can­cies for nurses were the most com­mon, with 251 jobs ad­ver­tised, ahead of pro­gram­mers and soft­ware devel­op­ment pro­fes­sion­als (248) and other ad­min­is­tra­tive oc­cu­pa­tions (183). The most com­monly sought spe­cialised skill was sales, de­manded in 232 job ad­ver­tise­ments, ahead of busi­ness man­age­ment (173), SQL (162), tech­ni­cal sup­port (152), JavaScript (152) and math­e­mat­ics (151). Com­mu­ni­ca­tions skills (1,275), Mi­crosoft Ex­cel (435), cus­tomer ser­vice (390), plan­ning (378) and writ­ing (371) were the most sought base­line skills.

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