Police call for business as usual ahead of planned protests
By CarlyBaldwin | Monday, September 24, 2012, 13:27
West Midlands Police this weekend urged Walsall citizens to 'go about their normal business' on Saturday (29th), despite demonstrations planned for the town centre.
The police will stage a 'large-scale' operation on Saturday
The English Defence League (EDL) are planning to stage a static demonstration, while groups opposing the EDL are also due to hold a simultaneous event.
The police have said that although they do not welcome such events, the right to protest peacefully is a 'sign of a healthy democracy'.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Forsyth, who will lead the police operation, said: "We want people to feel reassured, and in response to community concerns, we will be staging a large-scale operation on the day to ensure that everyone who comes to the town centre, be it to take part in the protests, or to go about their day to day business, can do so in safety.
"Officers will be deployed throughout the town to provide a visible reassurance to retailers, shoppers and all those visiting Walsall."
He continued: "Any criminal or public order offences will be robustly dealt with.
"People should go about their normal business and not allow the protest to affect them or undermine Walsall's reputation as a harmonious town with many different cultures living alongside each other in peace. The policing operation will strive to ensure it remains that way."