Police step up patrols in Leicester ahead of India-Pakistan cricket match
Temporary chief constable Rob Nixon warns against trouble-making Rob Nixon, the temporary chief constable of Leicestershire Police (Image credit: Leicestershire Police)
Police have vowed to take precautions in Leicester ahead of Diwali and Sunday’s India-Pakistan cricket match to be played in Australia to avert potential confrontations between groups.
Leicestershire Police’s assurance to step up visible patrols follows violent clashes between Hindu and Muslim groups after a T20 match between the Asian rivals in Dubai in August.
The unrest, fuelled largely by fake news on social media, resurfaced in September resulting in the arrest of dozens of people.
But peace has been restored in the English city, known for its racial and cultural diversities. Navaratri celebrations and Diwali lights switch-on events were incident-free earlier this month amid calls from community leaders to promote harmony and peaceful co-existence.
The force has been reassuring security for weeks in the run-up to Monday’s Diwali celebrations.
Temporary chief constable Rob Nixon has urged people to celebrate the festival as they normally would.
“It’s a very special time for so many people in the communities of Leicester, and a very special time for the city and those celebrations should go ahead,” Nixon said.
“There will be a high-visibility police presence in the area throughout Monday,” he said as he warned against trouble-making.
“Anyone thinking of causing trouble – please, don’t,” because officers would be present to avert any disorder, he said.
“This is also the case on Sunday, following the cricket match,” he said and added that the force took precautions recognising potential tensions around the result.
The investigation into recent unrest was in progress, Nixon said but admitted the force faced challenges in efforts.
Five more people have been arrested taking the total number of arrests since August 28 to 66.
This includes the arrest of a 26-year-old man from Leicester on Wednesday for his suspected involvement in a disorder last month. He has been released but enquiries have continued.