Police tell Brighton marchers where to go

Posted On 17 Apr 2013 at 7:17 pm

Two groups planning to turn out in Brighton on Sunday (21 April) are being told where to go by Sussex Police.

And one of the groups, the March for England, is likely to have to run the gauntlet of protesters along Brighton seafront as part of the arrangements.

The force has issued two notices under section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 giving directions to participants in the March for England and those protesting against the march.

The notices have been issued because the Chief Constable Martin Richards believes that they are necessary to prevent disorder, damage, disruption or intimidation.

They tell both groups where they are allowed to gather and make it easier for officers to arrest people suspected of being out to make trouble.

The March for England is due to follow a route from Madeira Drive along the seafront. At the junction with Middle Street the marchers are expected to turn and retrace their steps to Madeira Drive.

Superintendent Steve Whitton

Superintendent Steve Whitton

One of the section 14 notices says: “The March for England and those associated with it shall only assemble at the designated assembly area in Madeira Drive, Brighton, on Sunday 21 April.

“The assembly area shall be confined to the road bounded by the pavement running along its southern edge.

“It will run west as far as the pedestrian crossing next to the Aquarium roundabout and as far east as the police crowd control barriers.”

The other section 14 notice is aimed at people planning to protest against the March for England.

It says: “Those wishing to assemble in order to protest against the March for England shall only do so at the designated area on the southern pavement adjacent to the A259 in Brighton, on Sunday 21 April.

“The assembly area will be designated south of the barriers running along the pavement on the upper promenade running as far east as the bollards to the pavement next to Brighton Pier and as far west as the bollards on the pavement next to the ramp leading down to the lower promenade and opposite East Street.

“The assembly area will be confined to the upper promenade only.”

When the March for England takes place, those taking part will be take a route past the protesters’ designated area.

Sussex Police said that officers would use their powers to stop and search people to try to prevent violence and disorder.

Superintendent Steve Whitton said: “As always, our priority is public safety.

“It is vitally important that those attending the event work with us and comply with directions or other restrictions which we will need to give to keep people safe.

“This will help to ensure officers can focus their attention on the minority of those who may be intent on causing trouble.

“Due to the risk of disorder on the day we are likely to be stopping and searching more people and have pre-authorised powers to do this under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

“We have a duty to balance the rights of people to carry out a peaceful protest, whether in support of the march or opposed to it, allowing those to go about their normal business in the city, while always prioritising public safety through preventing crime and disorder.

“Unlawful behaviour – or that which goes beyond what could be considered reasonable in terms of peaceful protest – will not be tolerated and will be dealt with positively.”

Both section 14 notices apply from 10am until 3pm. Sussex Police said that anyone who fails to comply with the directions or who incites anyone else to ignore them will commit an offence and may be liable to arrest.

The force also said that traffic could be disrupted in the area on Sunday with the march starting no earlier than 12.30pm and ending no later than 2.30pm.


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