Protests in Sunderland over plans to build mosque

A protest has taken place in Sunderland over plans to build a mosque.

It is the latest in a series of demonstrations on St Mark's Road in the Millfield area by the far-right groups.

A counter protest was also held by the 'We Are Sunderland' group.

Today's event was more peaceful than a demonstration in September which involved large numbers of people and ended in many arrests. Police say there were two arrests today.

Residents on St Mark's Road say they're sick of protests there.

"Those people are not local, that's why we're concerned. If there's local concerns and local issues we can talk and find a way out. But those people - some are from Newcastle, some from Whitley bay, some from Liverpool. They have no right to be here!"

– Local resident

Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth, Sunderland area commander, said: “We know the protests are causing concern to the local community and would like to thank residents for their cooperation and understanding.

“Our priority is to ensure public safety and extra officers were in the area to ensure the safety of everyone and that disruption was kept to a minimum.

“We will continue to carry out regular patrols in Millfield and would urge the community to continue to engage and work with police.”