Reports circulating on social media claimed the spark this weekend was a protest march, with footage showing police trying to hold off two rounds of crowds as objects such as glass bottles were thrown around, and some people could be seen carrying sticks and truncheons.
“We have had numerous reports of an outbreak of disorder in parts of the East Leicester area of the city,” Leicestershire Police Temporary Chief Constable Rob Nixon said in a video on Twitter.
Message from Acting Chief of Police Rob Nixon. We are taking control of the situation at @LPEastLeics, many o… https://t.co/BGWcVjzpAH
— Leicestershire Police (@leicspolice) 1663445958000
“We have officers there, we are taking control of the situation, there are additional officers on the way and dispersal powers, arrest search powers, have been authorized. Please do not get involved. We call for calm,” he said.
Local police said their officers were present in large numbers as dispersal, stop and search powers were authorized in a bid to “restore calm” to the area. A large number of people were searched and two men remain in custody – one suspected of conspiracy to commit violent disorder and the other suspected of possession of a sharp item.
“Several incidents of violence and damage have been reported to police and are being investigated. We are aware of a video circulating showing a man pulling a flag outside a church building in Melton Road, Leicester. This appears to have taken place while police were dealing with a public disorder in the area. The incident will be investigated,” Leicestershire Police said in a statement.
“We continue to call for dialogue and calm with the support of local community leaders. We will not tolerate violence or disorder in our town. A major police operation will remain in the area for the coming days,” police said.
Police had imposed similar dispersal orders earlier this month after days of unrest reportedly involving local Hindu and Muslim groups following India’s game against Pakistan in Dubai on August 28.
On Friday, Chief Constable Nixon said there had been a total of 27 arrests in the ‘East Leicester area policing operation’ and even sent a message of thanks to the community for continuing to work together to call for calm in the area. .
“I don’t think anyone saw the (Saturday) confrontation as a likely outcome and the police had been reassured that things were calming down a lot,” said Sir Peter Soulsby, Mayor of the City of Leicester.
“It’s mostly young men in their late teens and early twenties and I’ve heard suggestions that people have come (to the city) from out of town looking for a job opportunity. having a plateau. It’s very worrying for people in areas where this has happened,” he said, appealing for calm.
Sanjiv Patel, who represents Hindu and Jain temples in Leicester, told the BBC that all groups have lived in harmony in the city over the years.
“But over the past few weeks, it’s been clear that there are things that need to be discussed around the table to bring out what people are unhappy about. Resorting to violence is not the solution to dealing with this.” , did he declare.
“Throughout the Hindu and Jain community and with our Muslim brothers and sisters and leaders, we constantly say ‘calm minds, calm heads,'” he said.
Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe described Leicester as “one of the most diverse cities in the UK” and insisted that “our unity is our strength”.