Police promise response to next Polish march to be tougher

Superintendent Tony Ixer. Photo: Alan Storer/Peterborough Telegraph

Superintendent Tony Ixer. Photo: Alan Storer/Peterborough Telegraph

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Peterborough’s police chief has promised a more robust response from his force after a march left on-lookers feeling scared.

Answers were demanded after flares and fireworks were let off during a rally for Polish independence on Saturday (8 November) with no arrests made.

Now, Superintendent Tony Ixer says his police force will be much firmer if a march takes place next year.

He also defended the police after criticisms over its response to squatters taking over a house owned by a 101-year-old woman.

Discussing this month’s march which led to strong criticism of the police by Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson, Superintendent Ixer re-iterated an earlier response given by Inspector Andy Bartlett which promised tougher action next year.

“This event had been held previously without cause for concern and with a low level of resources and there were no known threats or animosity towards police or others,” said the response.

“The parade was far above the numbers agreed and it was at that point the organisers disclosed that the event had been published on social media.

“A large number of people from outside of the Peterborough area attended the march and behaved in an anti-social manner which caused a lot of the local residents who had attended peaceably to leave.

“The analogy between this march and either football matches and right wing protest groups marching have been drawn.

“In response to this, we have a heightened police response in anticipation of violence. There was no reason or intelligence to suggest this was the case in the march.

“Since the march we have met with the organiser and there will be a far more robust regime in place if there is to be a march next year.”

Responding to the story on the squatters, who were evicted from Granville Street by police three weeks after being informed they were there, Superintendent Ixer said: “When my officers were called by the letting agency they spent many hours investigating and did their best to assist them.

“As soon as we realised there was a vulnerable lady involved we took swift action.”