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EDL UPDATE - Police continue to disperse EDL members
7:17pm Saturday 17th July 2010 in News
POLICE are still trying to disperse pocket groups of EDL members who are still in the town centre following today's protests.
Trouble again flared following a seemingly calm protest of around 500 gathered English Defence League protesters, who converged on Stafford Street.
At around 3.30pm, as the protest finished, some members flooded out of the car park and began a further stand off with police, as they began loading on to their coaches.
Despite EDL leaders promising today's protest would be peaceful, a group of around a couple of hundred supporters tried to get down The Inhedge, as they tried to make their way into the town centre and the Unite Against Fascism counter protest.
Twenty people have been arrested for offences including possessing an offensive weapon and disorder, as security fencing was pulled down and a drainpipe was ripped off the wall of the nearby solicitors as police dogs were bought into to control the unruly crowds who were shouting abuse at officers and journalists.
Some EDL members also started a sitting protest, which was broken up by officers and police dogs.
Police medics were also called in to attend injured EDL members who were caught up in the violence, with two needing treatment for head injuries, and one for a leg wound.
During the disorder an incident also occurred in King Street, when six people were knocked over in a road traffic collision around 4pm.
The people, five men and a women, ranging in age from 16 years-od to 45, were taken to hospital for further treatment. None of them had life threatening injuries.
Since the incident, a man has come forward in connection to the RTC and is helping police with their inquiries.
A police spokesman said: “We are in the very early stages of the investigation but initial witness accounts suggest a family car was caught up in a small pocket of protesters.
“Whilst trying to work its way clear the car collided with some of the protesters as they left the protest area.”
Police are also investigating reports of damage to the Hindu temple.
Although no one remains at the protest site, police are still trying to disperse a few people who are still around the town centre.
The police helicopter was also in operation as police tracked the pocket groups, which caused traffic chaos and gridlock throughout the town centre.