Update on planned demonstrations this weekend in Dover

Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Kent Police has confirmed further details of demonstrations planned in Dover this weekend (Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May 2016).

In order to prevent serious disruption to the community, the Chief Constable has imposed conditions on right-wing marches expected to take place on both days as well as opposition protests by left-wing groups.

As a result, the right-wing marches will start at Dover Priory railway station at 4pm on both days.

Those in attendance will then travel left into Folkestone Road, right at the roundabout onto York Street, left into Queen Street, right into Fishmonger’s Lane and then immediately right following the route through the underpass.

They will then walk directly across the pedestrian walkway onto Marine Parade Promenade, turning left and continuing to the end opposite the Eastern Docks roundabout where speeches will take place. The march will then return to Dover Priory along the same route.

Left-wing protestors will assemble at a designated area on Marine Parade - north of the A20 Townwall Street - between 2pm and 7pm on both days.

The Chief Constable has the right under Sections 12 and 14 of the Public Order Act to impose conditions on any planned demonstrations if it is believed they may result in serious disorder, serious damage to property, serious disruption to the community, or if the purpose of the demonstrations is the intimidation of others.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Brandon said: "From previous experience we know that such demonstrations have the potential to cause serious disruption to the community of Dover, and it is highly probable there will be disruption again.

"However, groups cannot be prevented from entering Dover or demonstrating so long as the demonstration is peaceful and legitimate.

"The town and surrounding roads will be busier than usual given it is a Bank Holiday weekend, and without certain restrictions on the time and locations of the planned demonstrations we believe there would be an unacceptably high risk of serious disruption to the general public, businesses, visitors and those travelling in and around Dover.

"The restrictions will make the environment safer for both sets of demonstrators in addition to members of the public and police officers.

"It is important to stress that there will still be some disruption in the town, which even with all the best plans in place cannot be avoided. However, we hope to enable members of the community to go about their daily routines as much as possible."

Officers are continuing to work closely with the local community, including locally-elected representatives, stakeholders and businesses, to plan a proportionate response that will allow Kent Police to meet its legal obligation to facilitate peaceful protest.

At least 100 right-wing demonstrators are currently expected to attend across the weekend, while it is not yet clear how many left-wing counter-demonstrators are intent on visiting at the same time.

As part of the policing response, there will be additional units including mounted police officers.

Precise details of a planned concert on Saturday evening and a second event on Sunday evening have not yet been disclosed by the organisers.

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