The Cambridgeshire Constabulary have allowed an anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi rally to take place despite knowing that the event was organised by extremists, as they say they believed it to be a charity event.
The police force is the same one which ejected Tommy Robinson from a pub while he was watching football with his children in August.
About 350 skinhead neo-Nazis gathered in Haddenham on the 23rd and 24th September at the rally organised by Blood and Honour, to commemorate the death of its founder Ian Stuart Donaldson in a car crash in 1993.
Blood and Honour has been banned in a number of European countries and Russia, but approximately three quarters of attendees are thought to have travelled from abroad to attend.
A witness to the event, who wished to remain anonymous told the BBC that there were “a lot of cars, a big bonfire and a lot of music. The one that I heard was a song about white power and this kept going on and on. It was very loud and distinctive.”
A permit for the event was required from East Cambridgeshire District Council, and an application was lodged for a “private party with music.” During the application process Cambridgeshire Constabulary was consulted as to whether they had any objections. They said they had none as the organiser claimed the event was being held in support of Help for Heroes.
Yet Cambridgeshire police spokesman has now told Cambridge News: “There was a three day music event held the weekend before last in a private field near Haddenham with the owner’s permission. We had been in contact with other forces about similar events and were aware of a possible right wing element.
“Senior officers planned and implemented a response proportionate to the risk.
“We worked with organisers and landowner and the event took place without any disorder or crime committed.”
Help for Heroes, which works on behalf of injured soldiers and their families, denied any connection to the event, adding that they would not accept donations from extremist groups.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism has questioned why the Police force allowed the event to go ahead if they believed it had a connection to extremism, and why no charges are being brought against the group despite video evidence of clear anti-Semitism emerging from the rally.
A spokesman for the Campaign said: “Cambridgeshire Constabulary say they knew that this event was organised by the far-right but they also say they thought it was a charity event for Help for Heroes. They say they knew that Nazi salutes and anti-Semitic singing took place, but that no crime was committed.
“It is staggering that in 2016 in Britain a police force is allowing neo-Nazi from a group banned across Europe to enter our country, use it as a haven for fascism, rally against Jews and then claim that no part of that was unlawful. We are lodging a formal complaint and expect the conduct of the police officers concerned to be investigated, and the neo-Nazi perpetrators identifiable from the video footage to be prosecuted for their crimes.”
The footage suggests the group may have broken laws including section 29B of the Public Order Act 1986 which states: “A person who uses threatening words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, is guilty of an offence if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred.”
The maximum penalty, after a trial in the Crown Court, is seven years’ imprisonment. Incitement to racial hatred and acts likely to stir up racial hatred are also illegal.
Cambridgeshire Police came under severe criticism in August of this year when a number of its officers threatened the leader of PEGIDA UK, Tommy Robinson, with criminal charges unless he removed himself and his three young children, all under the age of ten, from the city of Cambridge immediately.
The family was at a pub with friends following attendance at a football match when the incident happened. Robinson reported that his children were all visibly upset by the presence of the officers, who followed them over a mile and a half to the train station.
Watch: Video reportedly captured at the event