Fireworks thrown in Sunday disturbance
One of two men arrested following rioting in Luton yesterday has been released from police custody this morning, although a second man is still being questioned.
A mob of 200 youngsters from Luton's Asian community defied a ban on mass public gatherings on Sunday to attack policemen drafted in to protect them from far-right protestors.
A banning order was imposed last week to thwart fears of a bank holiday weekend of violence sparked by rumours of a protest march being organised by far-right groups.
The march was said to be a further response to the protests by young Muslims which disrupted the Anglian regiment homecoming parade in the town earlier this year.
Police wearing riot protection helmets and carrying shields were sent into the Bury Park area of Luton on Sunday afternoon after the youngsters went on the offensive.
Divisional police commander Chief Supt Andy Frost said he was disappointed with the reaction of the small minority who attacked his officers.
He said: "I am extremely disappointed that some members of the Asian community have used today as an opportunity to commit disorder and undo much of the excellent work that has been done by both the police, council and community leaders to ensure today passed without incident.
"There has been extensive public consultation and work behind the scenes to ensure Luton was not the chosen venue for any kind of march or protest but it would seem that for no apparent reason disorder has broken out in Bury Park.
"Although this incident was contained within Bury Park it has again put Luton under the spotlight for the wrong reasons. The town has enjoyed excellent community relations for a number of years but it seems a small minority has let Luton down."
At around 4.30pm 50 additional police officers and six police horses were sent into Bury Park to deal with the disorder, which was contained in the Dunstable Road area at the junction of Waldeck Road.
Two people were arrested for public order offences.
Policing of the area returned to normal levels at around 7pm with the disorder dealt with and the crowds dispersed.
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