Don’t dance to this Pied Piper’s tune
On Saturday 4th February the English Defence League is visiting Leicester once again. As with last time in 2010, the EDL is doing its utmost to play the role of the Pied Piper. It is up to all of us to firmly press our hands to our ears and drown out the confrontational noises sounded by them.
We are all blessed to live in this great society in this United Kingdom where we are free to speak and assemble as is our right to do so. We all have differing views across society on a wide range of issues and so long as these views are voiced in a lawful manner then we must respect the fact that every individual has a right to their own opinion. When public disorder ensues due to the views and actions of some in society who invite aggressive confrontation then it is clear that this is unacceptable and must not be tolerated by the general public.
In this time of economic uncertainty when the population is overwhelmed by issues such as rising costs of living and a distressed employment market, the potential of public disorder is a most unwelcome prospect. On the EDL’s last visit to Leicester, there were several criminal incidents which came at a most massive inconvenience and cost to the taxpayer such as the smashing up of shop windows and physical skirmishes. Those who were present at the time of these horrifying incidents will no doubt have been terrified at witnessing such behaviour.
Then there is also the serious issue of how the police are inconvenienced by having to manage the visit of the EDL. The last time the EDL came to visit Leicester it cost Leicestershire Constabulary £800,000 to cover the event. At a time of public sector funding cuts, this places a substantial strain on the police’s resources. By having so many police officers patrolling the event on the day it will mean that there will be fewer officers to assist members of the public on matters of everyday concern. The time spent in the lead up to the event as well as in investigations afterwards will be valuable police time that will have to be diverted from other areas of work.
In these times of record unemployment, it is important to emphasise how getting a job is difficult enough as it is anyway without having a public order offence on one’s record. We must collectively dissuade people to stay away from events that could potentially lead to public disorder. We must do all we can to assist the police in any way we can to ensure that the threat to public order is kept to an absolute minimum.
It is imperative for us collectively to not get drowned.
Suleman Nagdi. MBE. DL.