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EDL march to cost taxpayers £1.9million

Police watch over EDL march. Pic: Gavin Lynn

Police watch over EDL march. Pic: Gavin Lynn


Policing for the recent English Defence League march and counter-protest in Tower Hamlets cost the Metropolitan Police £1.9 million.

Over 3,000 officers attended the march on September 7, which saw 600 EDL supporters walk from Tower Bridge to Aldgate East Station. They were met by a Unite Against Fascism counter-demonstration of 4,000 in Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel.

The march cost the Metropolitan Police £700,000 in overtime wages for officers and a further £1.2 million was incurred by diverting resources away from other areas, a Freedom of Information request revealed.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman said: “The substantial cost of policing the EDL March which took place in September is further evidence to support my belief that they should not be allowed to take place.”

He added: “A large amount of taxpayers’ money is then required to ensure the safety of residents and prevent the violence, disorder and destruction of property they typically cause.”

Officers successfully prevented a clash between EDL members and anti-fascist protesters when a splinter group from the counter-demonstration broke police ranks.

300 people were arrested for breaking police conditions of the march, the majority of whom were taking part in the counter-demonstration. Ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson was among those detained.


Read EastLondonLines’ coverage of the EDL march in Tower Hamlets on the 7th of September and some background on the EDL march.

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One Response to EDL march to cost taxpayers £1.9million

  1. George Igler

    November 6, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Oddly this article doesn’t see fit to mention the attempted judicial review over this demo which took place at the High Court, the week before.

    The police were perfectly clear, in court, that they feared zero violence from the demonstrators themselves. From whom then, was violence feared so significantly, as to demand a police operation costing two million pounds?

    All to enable freedom of assembly for a demonstration, strictly limited to precisely one half hour. In the 21st century it seems, this is the state of freedom of protest, in the city that gave the world the concept.

    It’s particularly odd that Mayor Rahman doesn’t mention these details, as he was if memory serves, in court when the police revealed them to the judge.

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