Nine police officers injured during anti-lockdown protests in West Yorkshire

Nine police officers were injured after they intervened to stop anti-lockdown protesters making their way towards a vaccination centre in West Yorkshire.

An estimated 400 demonstrators marched through Bradford city centre.

West Yorkshire Police said the “majority of protesters were peaceful” but a small number had travelled from outside Bradford “to cause trouble”.

Police arrested 13 people for public order offences and issued 19 fines for breaching coronavirus regulations.  

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Oz Khan, of West Yorkshire Police, described policing the demonstration as “challenging and complex”.

“We are grateful to the communities of Bradford, who have attended the protest in a peaceful way,” he said.

“However, there was a group of people who had travelled from outside the Bradford District to cause trouble.

“There was a small group of protesters who tried to break away from the protest and make their way to a vaccination clinic. Officers intervened to stop this from happening.

“The majority of people were peaceful, and I am pleased to say there was no significant disorder.”

Elsewhere, Sheffield saw an estimated 1,000 people attend a protest in the city centre against the government’s controversial new police and crime bill, which has seen rallies held across England.

Chief Inspector Paul Ferguson said: “No arrests were made and those who attended did so peacefully.”

Last week police arrested 36 protesters during an anti-lockdown demonstration in the heart of London which saw crowds hurling missiles at officers.  

Thousands of people had joined the demonstration last Saturday which travelled from Hyde Park to St Paul’s Cathedral and back to Westminster, ahead of the anniversary of the first UK lockdown which began on March 23 last year.

Among those attending the march were the controversial actor Laurence Foxand Piers Corbyn, brother of the former Labour Party leader Jeremy.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, who led the policing operation, said while the majority in attendance caused no trouble, there were pockets of disorder with crowds throwing bottles and other missiles and a number of officers were assaulted.

It came after more than 60 MPs and peers signed a letter warning that allowing the police to criminalise people for protesting “is not acceptable and is arguably not lawful”.

Source: (Telegraph)