SDL could return to town

Large police presence as the SDL and EDL march in Berwick where UAF held a counter demonstration
Large police presence as the SDL and EDL march in Berwick where UAF held a counter demonstration

Police are unable to rule out a return visit to Berwick by far-right groups in the future.

There were ugly scenes earlier this month when 80 members of the Scottish Defence League and North East Infidels carried out an anti-immigration protest march through the town.

Trouble flared as the group passed a counter-demonstration organised by Berwick Unites Against Fascism and had to be physically held back by police.

At its meeting on Monday night, members of Berwick Town Council and the general public called for assurances that it would not be allowed to happen again.

Neighbourhood Inspector Liz Hall said: “All the indications we had were that this was going to be peaceful, and we had a memorandum of understanding in place with the protesters.

“It did not happen like that, and we will take that into account in the future.

“We cannot really stop them marching. We can’t stop people having their freedom of speech but we can put certain criteria in place if they want to come again.”

One person had been summonsed to court for offences on the day, Inspector Hall said, adding: “There were obviously some of that group whose behaviour was disgraceful, and action will be taken through the court process,

“However, there was no damage and no one was injured.”

Berwick Town Council will debate it again on October 24.