Police call for people to work together on immigration issues ahead of protest march vote

POLICE are calling for all parties to listen and work together on the impact of immigration as campaigners plan to vote on whether or not to put on a protest march.

The people behind last year’s threatened anti-immigration march are due to meet on July 2 to decide whether to take to the streets of Boston.

Campaigners say they are frustrated with the council’s inquiry into the impact of immigration but Boston Police Chief Insp Paul Timmins called for everyone to work together to find ‘joint solutions’ to the issues in the town.

He said: “It is important to emphasise that we would seek early communication with organisers of any event and that we would look at some restrictions if deemed proportionate.

“Also, there are other ways to express views on these issues and these opportunities have been made available by the borough council to Dean Everitt and his supporters.

“These opportunities include the comprehensive task and finish groups on migration as well as the Alchemy project that is aimed at improving integration within communities.

“For a cohesive approach to immigration issues, it requires all parties to listen to each other and work on joint solutions.”

Officers say it is impossible to estimate the cost of policing a march in Boston until the scale and format of a potential protest are known.

Protests elsewhere in the country, however, have cost more than £100,000 to handle.

Chief Insp Timmins said that if a march does go ahead officers will work with organisers and ensure public safety is paramount.

He added: “We maintain a close working relationship with all parties who have either an interest in any proposed march or any agency who would have involvement in a response to a proposed march.

“We would police any event based on a structured and evidence risk assessment with public safety as the top priority.”

Councillors have urged people to give them chance to finish their inquiry – a brough council task and finish group – before coming to a judgement on its success.

Coun Paul Gleeson said the process has helped persuade people of the need to license overcrowded houses, to increase the number of EU cars reported to the DVLA on arrival in the country and support the need for extra investment in clasroom places.

Coun Gleeson, group vice-chairman, said: “We are getting some positives out of what we are doing without the report.

“I understand we have heard evidence that the people in favour of the march don’t agree with or like. That’s the evidence we have but whether we accept that or not is another matter.

“We need to look at all the evidence as a group.”