UPDATE: Riot police on standby as 1,000 people join EDL protest in High Wycombe.

More than 1,000 protesters could demonstrate in High Wycombe next weekend as part of an English Defence League march, the town’s top police officer has warned.

Thames Valley Police is currently preparing for a largescale operation, with mounted horse teams, police dogs and helicopters all expected to be drafted in on Saturday, April 9.

Wycombe policing area commander, superintendent Ed McLean, has revealed that nine anti-EDL groups have already signed up to hold a counter demonstration, with police resources set to be stretched across the town.

READ MORE HERE: EDL set to protest in High Wycombe.

EDL members have faced hostility from members of the Wycombe community in recent weeks, but supt McLean says officers will do all they can to ensure the protest is peaceful.

In a briefing alongside chief inspector Rebecca Mears at High Wycombe Police Station, he said: “We’ve got all sorts of plans and contingencies.

"What I would say is the Force is using significant resources to be able to manage all the various contingencies around.

“We’re as confident as we can be that the EDL will come where they say they will, will go to where they say they are going to, do their speeches and then want to leave Wycombe and move on.

“The more difficult thing to manage will be the counter protests, but again that is all part of our planning.”

Bucks Free Press:

Supt Ed McLean.

He added: “There are a number of other counter protest which we have strategically agreed locations for and obviously one of our key issues is trying to keep them separate to allow for a peaceful protest to take place.

“We’re expecting in total, including EDL, over a 1,000 people. Really, really, significant numbers.”

EDL protesters are set to meet at about 1pm on Saturday at Wycombe Railway Station before marching down Castle Street towards Frogmoor where they will make a number of speeches before leaving.

At first, police were informed there could be 250 to 300 EDL members in the town on the day, but that is understood to have dropped to between 150 and 200 people because of a demonstration being planned in Birmingham on the same day.

However, supt McLean says that difficulties may arise if gangs turn up announced and has now warned anyone against planning to cause trouble on the day.

He said: “What we can’t cater for is a group of individuals who just decide to turn up on the day and protest.

“If you’ve got a ‘beef’ about any of the people who are here, engage with us and we will allow you to lawfully protest.

“If you don’t do that, we can’t protect you, we can’t protect others from you and we probably won’t allow you to do what you want to do.”