Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Sunday, 6 December 2009

Nottingham police face 500,000 bill over protests

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The English Defence League protesters clashed with police in Nottingham city centre

Policing two demonstrations in Nottingham involved 700 officers and will cost more than £500,000, it has been estimated.

Police were drawn from a number of forces to take care of demonstrations by the English Defence League (EDL) and Unite Against Facism.

There was also a military parade in the city and a derby football match.

Eleven people were held by police during the protests but further arrests are expected.

Nottinghamshire police authority chairman John Clarke said of the cost: "It's got to be over half-a-million with the logistics of bringing people in."

In the build up to the main demonstrations on Saturday, there had been a stand-off between the EDL and Unite Against Fascism in the Old Market Square.

It was a special operation which needed a hell of a lot of people to be brought in
John Clarke, chairman of Nottinghamshire Police Authority

Later, mounted police held back demonstrators with batons and punches were thrown at police. One female officer and a protester suffered minor injuries.

Many of the EDL demonstrators had their faces covered with hooded tops and scarves and shouted anti-Islamic slogans.

Mr Clarke said: "When the films and photographs have been gone through I expect further arrests.

"The people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire can be proud of their police force who did an excellent job along with other forces.

"It was a special operation which needed a hell of a lot of people to be brought in."

The EDL insists it is not a racist organisation and has no links to the BNP and is simply standing against Islamic extremism.

A spokesman said they had planned the demonstration for Saturday as the Second Battalion the Mercian Regiment was holding a homecoming parade in Nottingham following a recent tour of Afghanistan.

The EDL marchers were led to the railway station by police and began boarding trains at around 1630 GMT.

Nottinghamshire's Assistant Chief Constable Ian Ackerley said the force had faced a series of complex events but had achieved "a successful outcome to a very challenging day".



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