chapter  4
Rolling out the welcome mat
WithCraig J.J. McCann
Pages 22

This chapter explores Newcastle’s role as a focus of English Defence League attention and how local practitioners within the police service, the local authority and wider partners have developed responses to the movement engaging in street protest activity in the city. Supported by interviews with police officers and local authority representatives it provides unique insights into the tactics employed and explores the dynamics between local statutory agencies working in partnership in response to English Defence League activity. It concludes that despite Newcastle’s status as a non-Prevent Priority Area, this did not yield a less developed response to the EDL, particularly given the way that the English Defence League is problematised locally as a public order and community cohesion issues rather than a counter terrorism threat. However, it was recognised that the most significant counter terrorism threat profile locally is associated with right wing extremism. And yet, there was very little evidence of targeted engagement with white working-class communities, the development of specific counter narratives or funding of projects to counter right-wing extremism in the city.