Tension at Appleby Horse Fair as police face off mob with bats and blades

Police were seen forming a blockade opposite a mob with "sticks, bats and blades" at Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria today (June 12).

The were fears that violence between rival groups of travellers could occur, and police said they were trying to stop people coming to the town with "the intention of causing disorder".

In a clip of the incident shared on TikTok, officers were lined up opposite a big group, with two men positioned in the middle appearing to negotiate.

The group was eventually ordered to disperse before officers moved aside to let smaller groups pass through.

The fair in Appleby-in-Westmorland is a celebration of the travelling community and is one of the largest gatherings for travellers in Europe, reports the Express.

Cumbria Police put in place a Section 60 order for the event, enhancing their powers of stop and search and authorising officers to require the removal of disguises, including face coverings and hoods.

LancsLive reports that these powers have now been extended for another 24 hours.

Officers seized a number of weapons today including sticks, bats and blades.

Two men, aged 37 and 24, have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.

Superintendent Matt Kennerley of Cumbria Police said: "Our officers acted swiftly to respond to the potential for disruption and prevent any escalation.

"We are working to identify those involved so action can be taken. The Section 60 and 60AA powers will help our officers to keep people safe.

"However, I also urge anyone with information about potential disorder or any other type of criminality to contact the police.

"Policing resources will be increased in key areas and at key times. In addition, people may see armed police in the Appleby area to allow such officers to respond swiftly and effectively to any potential situation that arises.

"Anyone who is seeking to come to the Fair to cause trouble or to be violent is not welcome.

"Such people should stay away so those who wish to enjoy an enjoyable and safe Fair are free to do so."

He added: "Expert officers are actively reviewing CCTV footage with the aim of identifying offenders and making further arrests.

"There is no place at Appleby for those who travel here intent on disorder and violence – and that is a message which comes not just from the police but the local, settled community and the overwhelming majority of the Gypsy and traveller community."

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