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'Significant' police presence for March for England
A “significant” police presence is being prepared to ensure a “safe environment” when the March for England returns to Brighton.
Sussex Police are making preparations for the march along the seafront on April 27 with counter protests from groups such as Unite Against Fascism expected.
Superintendent Steve Whitton said: “It is really important that if there are any incidents of crime or disorder or people coming with the intent of taking part in a peaceful protest that we deal with them effectively.
“The other part of the operation is to engage with people and being very visible and I want people to be reassured that the visibility and the availability of the officers on the day will be there to ensure that people can carry on business as usual.
“The city will look different, it will feel different, but it is my objective to ensure a safe environment for everyone.”
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Traffic and pedestrian restrictions will be in place during the day, with the A259 King's Road being cordoned off to vehicles between 11am and 1.30pm.
Last year saw a £500,000 police operation attempting to keep demonstrators and anti-fascist groups apart.As well as violent street battles, traders were left counting their losses as large areas of the city shut down for the day.
The event has been held annually since 2010 to coincide with St George's Day.
Supt Whitton said the police will be working to ensure King's Road is open in as “tight a time frame as possible”.
He said there will be barriers on the side of the road to prevent access from Black Lion Street, Ship Street and Middle Street.
He added: “What we are certainly doing this year is spending a lot of time speaking to the local traders and residents to discuss the details of the plans to make sure we take advantage of any opportunity to minimise the impact on them as individuals - but inevitably there will be disruption on the day.”
Supt Whitton said they will work with all groups involved in the protest to achieve a peaceful day.
For full details of road closures visit www.sussex.police.uk/whats-happening/march-for-england
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