Men arrested after missiles thrown at police after Britain First Rotherham protest

The Britain First protesters in Rotherham

The Britain First protesters in Rotherham

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Five people have been arrested after missiles were reportedly thrown at police officers in the wake of the Britain First protest in Rotherham.

About 150 members of the far-right protest group came to the town on Saturday to protest in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal in the town.

The Britain First protesters in Rotherham

The Britain First protesters in Rotherham

About the same number of counter demonstration protesters, mostly from United Against Fascism, also protested in the town today.

Wellgate in Rotherham town was closed off after protesters reportedly threw missiles at police.

South Yorkshire Police confirmed that three people have been arrested on suspicion of assault and one person was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

Police said that the two protests had passed peacefully with no arrests, but after groups began to disperse, a small faction became involved in disorder on Wellgate.

The Britain First protesters in Rotherham

The Britain First protesters in Rotherham

Chief superintendent Rob Odell, who led the policing operation said: “After lengthy planning and preparation for two opposing protests in the centre of Rotherham, the events passed smoothly.

“As the groups dispersed there was a pocket of disorder which was dealt with by officers at the scene.”

Two people were arrested on suspicion of assault and one person was arrested for being drunk and disorderly. All three remain in custody at this time.

A number of people were also dispersed under section 35 of the antisocial behaviour act. This means they cannot return to the town centre or surrounding area until after 10pm.

Chief Supt Odell added: “I’m acutely aware of the impact of such a significant police presence in the town centre but when such incidents of disorder breakout it’s essential that we are well equipped to deal with the situation quickly and effectively minimising the impact on local people.”

UPDATE:

Two of the men who were arrested, who are aged 25 and 48, have been released on police bail in connection with an assault.

A third man, 18, who was arrested for a racially aggravated public order offence, has also been released on bail while the investigation continues.

All three men are from the local area, police said.

Two other men were arrested yesterday evening and held in police custody for a short time before being released.

A 26-year-old man from Rotherham was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace and a 23-year-old man from Grimsby was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly. He was issued with a fixed penalty notice before being released.

South Yorkshire Police said today it will also investigate footage of disruption apparently filmed on Wellgate in Rotherham on Saturday afternoon.

SEE THE FOOTAGE HERE

Chief Superintendent Rob Odell, who commanded the operation, said: “Aside from a small minority of people the public of Rotherham did not react to what was a difficult day and I would like to thank them for the cooperation and patience they showed while our policing operation took place.

“Our investigation into those arrested during the day will continue over the coming weeks as will a detailed analysis of CCTV footage and privately shot material that has been uploaded onto social media sites in the last 24 hours.

“The investigation continues.”

WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE PROTEST HERE

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