Huffpost UK

EDL Suspects Arrested In Dawn Raids After Violent West Midlands Protest

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POLICE WEST MIDLANDS
Police in Walsall have arrested eight in connection with an EDL protest | Alamy

Eight people have been arrested in dawn raids by detectives investigating violent clashes which broke out at an English Defence League protest.

The suspects, aged between 17 and 58, were detained early on Tuesday at addresses in Tipton, West Bromwich, Brownhills and Birmingham, West Midlands Police said. A police spokesman told HuffPost UK all eight suspects had been demonstrating in support of the EDL.

A total of 30 arrests were made at the time of the clashes between EDL protesters and counter-demonstrators in Walsall town centre on September 29 last year, and 27 were charged with public order offences, including violent disorder.

Detective Inspector Pete Dunn, who is leading the police investigation into the disorder, said: "The majority of the people attending these demonstrations were law-abiding, however small numbers of people decided to get involved in a few ugly scenes when people began to try to break through police lines and were throwing missiles.

"Since September we have been working to identify others who were involved in the disorder and now we have been able to make further arrests."

Despite violence breaking out at the EDL demonstration, only a small number of protesters and police officers sustained minor cuts and bruises. No serious injuries were reported, police said.

Of those already charged, one man received a 25 week prison sentence for possession of an offensive weapon, at the counter demonstration on 29 September. A second man received a suspended sentence for assaulting a police officer.

A further 19 men will appear before Wolverhampton Crown Court on 9 April for a plea and case management hearing for violent disorder charges.

Others arrested on the day have received fines and suspended sentences.

In addition to the latest arrests, West Midlands Police has released ten images of men detectives want to identify as part of the ongoing inquiry.

Dunn added: "We urge anyone with information as to who these men are to contact us as soon as possible.

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