Police appeal after clashes at Tommy Robinson rally
OFFICERS ISSUE PICTURES OF 26 PEOPLE THEY WANT TO SPEAK TO
THESE are the 26 people police want to speak to after violence erupted during a Tommy Robinson rally.
Police cars were smashed, bricks were thrown and fireworks were launched into crowds during the event held by the English Defence League founder in Oldham on Saturday, May 18.
The activist, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was in Limeside during his campaign to represent the North West as an MEP.
A ‘counter-demonstration’ by a group named the Muslim Defence League took place at the same time.
Scores of officers were seen armed with shields and batons in a bid to separate both sides as tensions flared on the residential street of Seventh Avenue.
Greater Manchester Police raided 14 properties in Oldham, Crumpsall and one in West Yorkshire linked to the disturbance.
Officers arrested 13 men, aged between 15 and 40, on suspicion of violent disorder.
All were in custody for questioning.
Chief Superintendent Neil Evans, of GMP’s territorial commander with responsibility for Oldham, said: “As the scale of this morning’s operation demonstrates, we continue to treat May’s disturbance with the utmost seriousness.
“We have been in liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service since the early stages of the investigation and a team of detectives has been working to identify those whose criminal behaviour resulted in the ugly scenes witnessed.
“Investigators have been working alongside key local partners as part of our extensive enquiries. Specialist detectives from our major investigations team as well as local officers have been involved in hours of work assessing evidence and information received from the public.
“While we have made a number of arrests, our enquiries remain very much ongoing.
“As we have previously said, we understand and respect the right to peaceful protest and counter-protest. However we will not tolerate it when this crosses into criminal behaviour.
“Accordingly, we can and will respond when that line is crossed.
“It remains a line of enquiry that a number of those who were involved with the disorder had travelled to Oldham from outside Greater Manchester.
“As such, we are continuing to liaise with our partners in neighbouring forces.”
Information can be left with police on 0161 856 6551 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Greater Manchester Police issued these pictures of people they want to speak to following a disturbance in Oldham