Riot police called in as Asian youths throw fireworks at officers

30 Aug 2009
The incident happened a week after Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, issued a banning order on protestors planning right-wing demonstrations in the area.

A group of PCSOs patrolling the park had been on the lookout for any such protests, when they were attacked.

A spokesman for Bedfordshire Police said: ”Today’s disorder follows weeks of engagement and public consultation by Bedfordshire Police and Luton Borough Council in response to tensions within the community after the town was identified as a potential location for a march by right-wing supporters.”

Police had to send in an extra 50 officers and six police horses at 4.30pm as the violence escalated. Two people were arrested for public order offences.

The force said there was a strong police presence to ensure the safety of local residents and the disorder was dealt with by 7pm.

Chief Superintendent Andy Frost, from the force, said: “I am extremely disappointed that some members of the Asian community have used today as an opportunity to commit disorder and undo much of the excellent work that has been done by both the police, council and community leaders to ensure today passed without incident.

“There has been extensive public consultation and work behind the scenes to ensure Luton was not the chosen venue for any kind of march or protest but it would seem that for no apparent reason disorder has broken out in Bury Park.

“Although this incident was contained within Bury Park it has again put Luton under the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

“The town has enjoyed excellent community relations for a number of years but it seems a small minority has let Luton down.”

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