Chief’s plea over protest marches

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Far-right groups should be prevented from staging protests as the cost of policing them is too high, according to South Yorkshire Police’s top officer.

Chief Constable David Crompton said legislation regarding peaceful assemblies needed to be looked at.

He was speaking after the EDL threatened to stage a protest in Rotherham every month, following a recent protest in the town.

Mr Crompton said each protest cost his force £500,000.

He said: “Either somebody changes the law so that it’s less easy to do this or alternatively there are some funds available that we can tap into.

“As it stands, we have a lot of power over marches but we don’t have in any way the same control over assemblies.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “The management of demonstrations is an operational matter for the police. Forces can apply for a special grant to cover significant and exceptional events which threaten their financial stability.”