Monday, 1 February 2010

The Cost of Policing Hatred.

Readers will recall the EDL/WDL march in Wrecsam on the 21st November 2009, where 30 Bolton fans turned up outside Wetherspoons to chant racist and anti Islamic slogans. We blogged on this event here, here and here.

Following a Freedom of Information request to North Wales Police about the cost of policing the march I received the following response:
We can...provide information regarding the combined cost of the WDL and EDL march in Wrexham on the 21st November 2009.

The total figure to date is £217,854. This figure could change subject to further invoices being forwarded for payment.

All costs fall to North Wales Police.

So there we have it, the costs of allowing racists to enjoy their freedom to spread hate and intolerance. What else could North Wales Police have spent this money on?


Everyones Favourite Comrade said...

I completely oppose the WDL/EDL, I was on both counter demo's in Swansea and Newport, but are you suggesting a state ban on them? That takes you into dangerous territory

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

This is part of a previous blog that I wrote. The Right to Free Speech and the Right to Assembly is NOT AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT as shown below:

"So the EDL have the right to free speech and the right to assemble under Articles 10 and 11 of European Convention on Human Rights. But rights under these 2 articles are not 'absolute rights' they can be restricted in certain circumstances and those are:

* in the interest of national security or public security;
* or to prevent crime or disorder;
* or to protect health or morals;
* or when to protect the rights or freedoms of others;"

In marching in Wrexham if EDL/WDL met any of the above restrictions then the state could have banned the march, the Police did in Slough. You have to balance the cost, the rights, the restrictions and the rights of others and then decide on whether a march should go ahead. And it doesn't apply to just the EDL/WDL but to extreme Islamic Groups like Muslim4UK who incidentally have been banned.

Anonymous said...

The idea of backing a state ban on any kind of political protest would normally be anathema - such bans are more usually used against the left than the right.
But, just as I supported banning the provocative march at Wooton Bassett by a tiny fringe group I would also say that the EDL has shown that its actions are designed to provoke violence and terrorise the local population.
Ideally, a mass protest against these fascists would see them off but Wrecsam can't mobilise the hundreds at short notice who took to the streets elsewhere to combat the EDL.
So reluctantly, I'd rather see the police ban them than see more trouble on our streets.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Take your point entirely especially the one about the left being more likely to be banned than the right...never a truer word said and that was my experience of 30 years in the Police Service. Is there really any difference between the EDL and the Unionist terrorist groups in the North of Ireland in the 70's and 80's, many of those were proscribed under terrorism legislation so why aren't the EDL considered the same and banned.

UniGlam said...

is that not the point though, if there is a state ban on the EDL that will be used against the left as well, thats what I mean about dodgey ground.

I don't support the EDL's right to fre speech, but I oppose a state ban, they should be driven from the streets by a mobilisation of ordinary people