A DEMONSTRATION by a far-right group at the weekend led to one arrest.

The North East Infidels, an offshoot of the English Defence League, held a march through Stockton town centre at the weekend, attracting about 150 supporters.

There was also a counter-demonstration by anti-Fascist groups, including the Teesside Solidarity Movement.

Police said they arrested one 22-year-old man, who was issued with a fixed penalty notice for being drunk and disorderly towards the end of the event.

There were also unconfirmed reports of a fight in one of the pubs between National Front members, but police said they were not aware of this.

Despite the town being busy with shoppers visiting a vintage market and families at the Stockton Pirate Festival, Cleveland Police said the demonstrations had taken place with "minimal disruption".

Chief Inspector Sharon Cooney, who led the operation from the force command room, said: “We must commend the local residents, visitors and shoppers for their patience and co-operation during the demonstrations. Members of the public will have noticed an increased police presence in and around the town centre area as the demonstrations took place.

“Our intention was to ensure the safety of the community, whilst the demonstrators exercised their right to a peaceful protest and to minimise disruption to those going about their daily business.

"This was achieved thanks to the co-operation of the local community.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, who watched the operation from the force command room, said: “I watched the operation unfold within the force command room and I was very pleased and supportive of the work that went into policing the operation, from the officers on the ground to the commanders directing the resources.

"The operation passed with minimal disruption so thank you to the public and well done to everyone involved.”