Concerns were voiced by Chief Constable Simon Cole in a report to Leicester City Council about the planned march by the English Defence League on October 9. The Chief Constable said that an intelligence and threat assessment indicated a “major threat” to public order.
His report said: “Intelligence dated September 8, 2010, indicated that the EDL intend to come to Leicester and attack a mosque before marching into the Highfields area, which represents the highest resident population of the Muslim community.
“This reflects previous intentions of EDL processions, such as that within Leicester, where actions were targeted to cause disruption to the Muslim community by provoking serious public disorder.”
Leicester City Cabinet yesterday agreed to apply to the Home Office to ban the planned procession under the Public Order Act 1986.
However, the EDL, in a statement, rejected the police claims. EDL event organiser Guramit Singh said: “We are coming to Leicester to peacefully demonstrate and we denounce attacks on any mosques. We are here to fight militant Islam, not moderate Islam. The intelligence provided by the police is incorrect.”
The EDL submitted an application to march through the city to police this week. If the Home Office agrees to ban the EDL march, the group could still hold a static protest, which the authorities would be powerless to prevent taking place.
See also “Vote to ban EDL march in Leicester ‘unanimous'”, BBC News, 25 September 2010