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Radio Sandwell News

Police concern ahead of Mark Duggan vigil

2014-01-11 11:55:52

Mark Duggan
A jury concluded on Wednesday that Mr Duggan, 29, was lawfully killed

Police say they are aware of a "small number" of people intending to provoke disorder at a vigil for Mark Duggan later, despite his family's pleas for a peaceful commemoration of his death.

On Wednesday, a jury concluded the 29-year-old was lawfully killed when he was shot dead by police in August 2011, sparking riots in many English cities.

The vigil is due to begin outside Tottenham Police Station at 14:00 GMT.

Mr Duggan's aunt Carole Duggan has said she wanted "no more violence".

'Fight for justice'

The Met said on Saturday morning it had a "policing operation" in place across London.

"Part of this operation includes assessing all available information and intelligence, and we are aware of a limited amount of information that indicates a small number of people are expressing their desire to use this vigil as an opportunity," it said in a statement.

"This information includes the intention of protest groups to attend and of people looking to provoke disorder. We will be ready to intervene immediately if required."

The statement highlighted the Duggan family's wish for the vigil to be held in a "dignified and peaceful manner".

Following the jury's conclusion, Ms Duggan said on Thursday: "We will have to fight this and go through the struggle peacefully to get justice.

"We will want answers. So it is like the struggle will go on, peacefully."

Carole Duggan
Carole Duggan has spoken for the family since the inquest's conclusion

Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe had already praised the family's "dignified" response to the inquest.

"A vigil is to commemorate Mark Duggan's death, that's what the vigil is about," Sir Bernard said on Friday.

"It's a terrible tragedy that someone's lost a life in this case, and clearly the family want to register.

"They've got every right to do that, and we as the police have got every opportunity to facilitate that so that's exactly what we will do.

Sir Bernard praised the family's "dignified" response
to the inquest

"We will continue to talk to the family and others to keep our communications alive, and also to make sure, as I believe, that the protest will happen and that there won't be disorder."

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed their game against Crystal Palace will go ahead despite a clash with the planned vigil, which is being held just an hour before Spurs host Palace in a London derby.

Given that the station is less than a mile from White Hart Lane, fears were raised about fans' security, despite the organisers' insistence the vigil will be peaceful.

But on Friday afternoon Tottenham allayed fears the game would be called off or postponed, posting on Twitter: "Contrary to reports there are no plans to call off tomorrow's game v Palace with the Duggan vigil scheduled for 2pm in Tottenham."

Prime Minster David Cameron has welcomed Ms Duggan's message of restraint, saying: "I very much respect Mark Duggan's aunt for saying 'pursue the case in the courts and not the street'."

The Reverend Nims Obunge, a pastor in Tottenham who knows the family, said: "The message from the family is that this vigil is intended to be a very peaceful vigil.

"It is a vigil in remembrance and respecting the life and death of Mark Duggan. His children will be there, and we don't expect anybody to come to where Mark Duggan's children are to create unrest or anarchy."

Source: bbc.co.uk

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