Feb 2 2012

Leicestershire cops target Muslim youth

The Network for Police Monitoring has expressed concerns that Leicestershire Police are targeting Leicester’s Muslim youth in a campaign aimed at scaring them into staying at home when the EDL come to march on Saturday:

The police have published leaflets saying that, under Operation Stay Safe, they can take any person under the age of eighteen to a ‘safe place’ during the demonstrations if they feel that person is at risk of harm… The police have not specified which situations they think might place someone ‘at risk of harm’, and campaigners say announcement has had the effect of deterring young people from taking part in demonstrations.

The powers police are using were meant to prevent children being put in a situation of exploitation or abuse and are clearly being abused here to prevent young people from exercising their freedom of expression. A local campaigner said that “Making a section of the community feel they cannot leave their homes is probably not the best way to deal with community tensions.”

Netpol say that the police are making the same mistakes they made in dealing with the 2010 EDL demo, which were thoroughly documented in their excellent report.

These tactics are further evidence of the police’s appeasement of the far right group which it is allowing to march through the shopping centre of the city at the weekend.