Police injured at Brighton March for England
Sussex Police have defended criticism of their handling of a march through Brighton on St George's day dubbed a "March for England."
An estimated 140 people took part in the march that began at Brighton train station yesterday. They were met by about 400 anti-fascists protesters.
The anti-fascist protesters tried to stop the march taking place but the police presence allowed it to continue but not through the planned route.
The strength of numbers of anti-fascist protestors meant that the march was cut short and did not reach the seafront but were diverted at Church Road.
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Mounted police were called in to help ensure the march passed off peacefully. However, several police horses suffered minor injuries and two police officers suffered head injuries as the people were arrested for public order offences.
A police spokeswoman said that police had to draw their batons on several occasions to protect themselves and the public.
Last week Superintendent Steve Whitton said that police were concerned that some people who would be attending the march did not plan to protest peacefully and that a strong police presence was required.
After the event he said: "We were able to restrain these groups and individuals with a firm, robust but fair policing response, but this did require a major police presence at several points.
"This event is an example of the way the police service must professionally and objectively balance the competing and lawful rights of groups who are opposed to each other.
"Groups have every right to express their views peacefully in a democratic society, and it is our job to help ensure that they can do just that."