Demonstrations being held in Newcastle

24 Sep 2016 10:00 AM

badge-03_tcm4-91219 [View Full Size]

There will be extra officers in Newcastle city centre on Saturday to oversee two protests taking place.

Members of the English Defence League (EDL) have informed police they plan to hold a peaceful march and protest in Newcastle city centre today.

There will also be a counter protest taking place at the same time.

The EDL will be setting off from Bewick Street at around 1:30pm and make their way along Neville Street and up Grainger Street. They will turn right at the Monument and head down Grey Street taking High Bridge Street into the Bigg Market where they will hold their protest.

We expect their march to take around 30 minutes and the protest to last approximately one hour.

The counter protest will set off from the Laing Art Gallery around 1:45pm, head along New Bridge Street West, onto Blackett Street, past Old Eldon Square before turning onto Newgate Street and gathering short of the junction with Grainger Street.

We expect their march to take around 20 minutes and they will have an hour in Newgate Street for their speeches.

We are expecting both groups to have finished and began dispersing at around 3pm.

We have been working with the organisers of both events to ensure that there is minimal disruption to the public in the city centre.

Extra officers will be in Newcastle from early on Saturday morning to oversee the events and ensure the events pass smoothly.

There may be some delays in the area and we may need to close certain roads for short periods of time, so plan any journeys in advance and leave extra time.

Clayton Street and Newgate Street will be subject to closure from approximately 1.55 to 3pm..

Northumbria Police Chief Inspector Steve Hails said: "We recognise people may be concerned about the potential impact these events will have however we are working with both groups to ensure there will be minimal disruption to those in the city centre.

"We can’t stop or ban these protests - The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental democratic right.

"Our role is to protect, reassure and support our communities. Our priority is the safety of everyone – those attending any events, those policing them, those protesting and the general public. Be reassured if anyone commits any offences then we will take swift and appropriate action.

"We are expecting a busy Saturday in the city centre and people will see more police officers than they normally might, however please speak to us if you have any issues or questions and go about your business as usual and hopefully these events will pass quickly and without incident."

View the full news release