Fencing goes up in Sheffield centre to keep protest groups apart

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Fencing has been erected around the Cenotaph and Barkers Pool in Sheffield city centre where opposition protest groups all plan to gather on Saturday

Police chiefs have admitted they are expecting large-scale gatherings’ when the English Defence League, United Against Fascism and other groups all hold demonstrations on the same day.

Police leave has been cancelled and officers have been drafted in from neighbouring forces to help keep the protest groups apart.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “South Yorkshire Police has a duty to allow for peaceful assembly or protest and detailed plans are being finalised to enable this.

“South Yorkshire Police is looking to manage any event within the confines of the city centre, as there is no proportionate power in law to ensure assembly at another location.

“The force is working with partners and local businesses to minimise the impact of these gatherings.

“Most if not all businesses will remain open on the day and people are encouraged to still come into Sheffield.

“However, road closures will be in place from approximately 11am on Saturday. The roads will be blocked off using barriers that South Yorkshire Police and other police forces have used at large events for a number of years.”