Socialist Worker

Two police officers to face charges over policing of Bolton UAF demo

Issue No. 2318

Two officers in the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are to face charges that they perverted the course of justice in the case of an anti-fascist arrested at a Bolton demo.

Inspector Robert Cantrell and Pc Alan Glover from the GMP’s Tactical Aid Unit will appear at York magistrates court next month, according to a report in the Manchester Evening News.

The charges relate to the case of Alan Clough, a Unite Against Fascism (UAF) supporter from Radcliffe. He was arrested and charged on 20 March 2010 when police attacked anti-fascists who had gathered in Bolton to oppose a march by the racist English Defence League (EDL).

Alan Clough appeared in court accused of “threatening behaviour” in October that year. But the case against him collapsed when video footage surfaced of him being punched in the face by a police officer.

The Independent Police Complaint Commission launched an investigation into “the apparent difference between the footage and the account given by officers”. This has now led to the charges against Cantrell and Glover.

Police kettled and attacked the UAF counter demo in Bolton that day, arresting 55 anti-fascists. Most were released without charge. Of the five that were prosecuted, one was found not guilty and two cases were dropped as a result of video evidence.

In contrast, the police got matey with the EDL and arrested just 17 of them. Officers smiled and chatted with the racist thugs. One was overheard telling an EDL supporter, “If only they [the anti-fascists] were as well behaved as you.”

Senior officers later showered praise on EDL leaders while falsely accusing UAF of “extreme violence”. This was despite the fact that EDL supporters stabbed a man in a pub after the Bolton march.

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Fri 31 Aug 2012, 14:15 BST
Issue No. 2318
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