Monday, 31 August 2009

Asian Riot, Bury Park, Luton, 30/08/09

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A 200-strong mob of Asian youths threw fireworks at riot police when violence broke out in a Luton park yesterday.

The Bedfordshire force sent 50 officers and six police horses to break up the disturbance in Bury Park, which began at 4.30pm and swiftly intensified. Police said that the confrontation was over by 7pm and two people had been arrested for public order offences.

The riot occurred a week after Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, granted an order banning unofficial marches through Luton. The order, effective for three months, was made after reports that the English and Welsh Defence League, a right-wing group, planned to hold a march this weekend to protest against Islamic fundamentalism.

In March Islamists demonstrated in Luton against troops returning from Afghanistan.

Chief Superintendent Andy Frost, of Bedfordshire Police, said that he was extremely disappointed that some members of the Asian community had used the occasion as “an opportunity to commit disorder and undo much of the excellent work that has been done by the police, council and community leaders to ensure the day 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,” he added.

“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.”

Muslims comprise about 15 per cent of Luton’s population.

Times Online

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