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Crash barriers thrown at police during ugly scenes in Rotherham

From ITV Correspondent Jon Hill in Rotherham:

There have been ugly scenes in Rotherham as demonstrators have thrown crash barriers at police during an English Defence league march.

While members of the far right group walked through the town centre, a group of protestors tried to force their way through police lines.

Amid intense security the march has been brought to a temporary pause while hundreds of people who'd veered off the main route are brought back within the police cordon.

A smaller vigil is being held by Unite Against Fascism a few hundred yards away in the town centre. A spokesperson said the vigil was for the 1,400 abuse victims, but also a protest at attempts by others to turn the scandal into a racist issue.


Police vigilant ahead of Rotherham EDL march

Three arrests ahead of Rotherham EDL march

Three men who have been linked to today's English Defence League march in Rotherham have been arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon.

The men were picked up in the Wickersley area of the town and are currently being held by police.

Despite police predictions that more than a thousand EDL members would turn up to today's protest, the South Yorkshire Force says that there are currently only around 200 people in the town centre.

Tight security ahead of Rotherham child abuse demonstration

EDL members have gathered to protest at the child sex abuse scandal in Rotherham Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Police have towed away at least three cars on the route of an English Defence League march in Rotherham town centre.

Some of the expected 1,300 EDL members have gathered for the start of the far-right protest which is being staged following the child sex abuse scandal which has hit the town.

It's thought 1,300 members of the EDL will join the march Credit: ITV Yorkshire

So-called 'public order barriers' which are usually used for football disorder have been erected around the town centre. The 10ft high barricades have sealed off shopping streets. A number of shops have also closed.

A number of shops in Rotherham town centre have closed ahead of an EDL rally in the town Credit: ITV Yorkshire


1,500 police on duty for Rotherham EDL march

1,500 police officers from around the country have been drafted in to oversee today's demonstration by the English Defence League in Rotherham.

It is expected 1,300 people are expected in the town centre for the rally, but it is unclear how many will be attending a counter-demonstration by Unite Against Fascism.

The town centre is currently deserted after 10 foot high barricades were erected in front of council offices, sealing some streets off entirely.

Police vans from forces including Essex, the Metropolitan Police, Wales, Derbyshire, Durham and Greater Manchester have been brought in as a precaution. Mounted officers are also patrolling the streets.

80-year-old injured in Sheffield burglary

Police are appealing for witnesses after an 80-year-old woman was reportedly burgled at her home in Charnock, Sheffield.

Sheffield pensioner injured in burglary Credit: South Yorkshire Police

At around 9.15pm on Thursday the woman was in her home in Charnock Drive when it is reported that she heard noise upstairs.

Upon entering the hallway, it is believed that two masked men confronted the woman, demanding money. It is alleged that one of the men threatened her with a screwdriver.

The man continued to threaten the woman, who handed over some money. It is believed that the man kept hold of her to stop her from moving away.

She was able to free herself and tried to alert her neighbours but in doing so fell over, causing injuries to her face.

The two men had fled the scene when officers arrived and despite a search of the area, were not located.

They are described as being in their early 20s and of slim build. They reportedly spoke with local accents and wore woolly hats with a cloth mask over their faces and wore rubber gloves. One of the men was taller than the other.

EDL demo over Rotheram child sex abuse

An estimated 1,200 members of the English Defence League are expected to march through Rotherham town centre this afternoon between 1pm and 3pm, in the wake of the damning report into child sex abuse in the town.

English Defence League protestors Credit: ITV Yorkshire

An EDL camp has been in place outside Rotherham's Main Street police station ever since the publication of the report which revealed 1,400 children were abused over a 16 year period largely by Pakistani men.

Officers from neighbouring forces are expected to be drafted in today to bolster numbers on the ground in Rotherham.

A counter-demonstration is due to take place by Unite Against Fascism.

People in Rotherham and beyond are understandably shocked by the revelations of recent weeks and want to express their concern and anger about what happened.

"There are victims of child sexual exploitation who were let down by us in the past - they did not receive the necessary protection and support they should be able to expect and we fully acknowledge our previous failings.

"The force is committed to tackling CSE and has taken steps to address this. We have requested an independent investigation into our handling of CSE and the Chief Constable is in ongoing dialogue with the Independent Police Complaints Commission to ensure any individuals and organisations found to be at fault are held to account.

"We respect an individual's democratic right to protest and additional officers will be on duty to ensure a peaceful and safe protest for all. However, if people are attending with the intention of causing or participate in disorder, they will be identified and dealt with.

"The event is likely to cause some disruption for local business and the public with road closures taking place for public safety. We will be looking to minimise any disruption where possible.

"I would like to thank everyone for their co-operation while this is ongoing and to know that we, with our partners, will strive to make the day as safe as possible."

– Chief Supt Jason Harwin, South Yorkshire Police Commander for Rotherham

The EDL demonstrators will gather at a muster point at the Town Hall at 1pm and then begin marching to Main Street at 1.30pm.

They will travel from the Town Hall, along Moorgate Street, onto Church Street, left onto Market Street, left onto Market Place, right onto Westgate, and will arrive at Main Street at around 2pm, where there will be speeches before they disperse at around 3pm.

UAF demonstrators will gather at All Saints Square at 1pm and then make their way to the Town Hall.

Road closures will be in place on the day and people are advised to plan their journeys in advance. Road closures are as follows:

Main Street (from the junction with Centenary Way to the Market Street junction) Wilfred Street (at the junction with Westgate) Moorgate Street (at the junction with Grove Street) Westgate (at the junction with Main Street)

Diversions will be in place at Corporation Street, Moorgate Street (at the junction with Mansfield Road), and Canklow Road (at the junction with Old Sheffield Road).

The following roads will be closed for the duration of the marching phase only:

Westgate (junction with Wilfred Street) Market Street (junction with Domine Lane)

As it's part of the protest route and the final assembly point, the enquiry desk at Rotherham Police Station, in Main Street, will be closed from 9pm on Friday (12 September) and will reopen again at 8am on Monday (15 September).

Between 8am and 10pm on Saturday 13 September, and between 10am and 6pm on Sunday 14 September, enquiry desk services will relocate to Rawmarsh Police Station, In Green Lane, Rawmarsh.

Alternatively, the enquiry desk at Snig Hill Police Station in Sheffield city centre is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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