Following Violence in Wake of India-Pak Cricket Match, Police Impose Special Measures in UK's Leicester

In response to continued tensions following a cricket match between India and Pakistan last weekend, Leicestershire Police have put special measures in place to contain the situation.

They come in the wake of several incidents of disorder following the match at the weekend. A number of men were filmed making offensive statements about Pakistan amid scenes of violence in the Belgrave area of the city last Sunday, as per a report by LeicestershireLive. 

Leicestershire Police said it was treating chants made by the men and related violence as ‘hate crimes’. Police have put in place special stop and search and dispersal measure in neighbourhoods of Belgrave, Rushey Mead and Spinney Hills, among others.

Dispersal powers under Sections 34 and 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 have been authorised by Chief Superintendent Adam Slonecki which allow officers to return anyone under the age of 16 to their home address. Notices can be issued for a period of up to 48 hours and anyone found breaching a notice is liable to be arrested and face further action, as per LeicestershireLive.

Powers have also been granted by a senior officer under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, which allow officers to stop and search anyone in a specific area without needing to have reasonable grounds. The orders were reportedly placed on Tuesday evening and remain effective till Wednesday morning.

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Police said they had identified five men associated with the incidents and confirmed that they were investigating further offences. They also noted on Tuesday evening that there were people posting messages online to encourage others to get involved in further disorder and the force’s senior officer issued a plea for calm.

Several faith groups also echoed the message. Suleman Nagdi, spokesman for the Leicestershire Federation of Muslim Organisations, said, “I find it very worrying things like this should happen in a city like Leicester where we’re used to such good relations. Sports should bring people together. We need to call for calm, tolerance and peace,” as per LeicestershireLive.

In a video released on Tuesday, Temporary Chief Constable Rob Nixon said, “I’m very aware that there’s a lot of tension across some parts of our city. This has emanated from an incident that occurred on August 28th following the cricket match.”

Adding that the police was investigating the incidents, he urged people to remain calm and not engage in spreading further disorder. “We are aware that there are people who are trying to galvanise members of the public to get involved in further disorder this evening. Please don’t do it. Please show restraint, bring calm, challenge rumours, challenge things that are going out on social media, and please help us work through the different investigations we’ve got ongoing.”

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