Violent Birmingham EDL footage to be shown on Crimewatch

Film footage showing violent scenes at an English Defence League protest will be aired on Crimewatch tonight as detectives keep up the pressure to track down the culprits.

Police are hunting more than 50 suspects believed to have been involved in the clash, which happened when EDL supporters gathered in Birmingham’s Centenary Square as a counter demonstration was mounted in Chamberlain Square.

Meanwhile, a vicious attack in which a man was kicked and stamped on by thieves in the Bordesley Green area of Birmingham before having his pockets picked while he lay unconscious is also set to appear on the BBC show.

Footage of the shocking attack was release by police on Monday and just two witnesses to the incident called the ambulance service.

So far 40 people have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder from last year’s EDL protest, including 20 detained on the day.

In total, around 2,000 protestors descended on the city for the events.

Images and film scenes from the July 20 demonstration - including one showing demonstrators kicking at a dog - will be broadcast as part of tonight’s appeal.

Det Ch Insp Simon Wallis, from West Midlands CID, said: “We want to make it clear that regardless of how many months have passed − we are still continuing to identify and arrest people involved in violent scenes at last summer’s protests.

“Anyone who brings violence to our streets will be pursued by police, particularly if they cause significant harm to others or damage to property − like we saw at this demonstration.

“In one incident alone £150,000 worth of damage was caused to an office block in the city centre and violent protesters used items from the nearby construction site of the new Birmingham Library as missiles or weapons to cause damage.”

A year-long investigation into violent disorder at an EDL protest in Walsall drew to a close in December, with 32 people sentenced to a total of 55 years in prison for crimes at the September 2012 event.

Det Ch Insp Wallis said over the last few months officers had visited addresses across the country to arrest those suspected of being involved in the Birmingham disorder.

“We are now making a national appeal on BBC’s Crimewatch programme to locate others who are yet to be identified,” he added.

“Our understanding is that people travelled from across the UK to attend the protest and so many of those who committed crime in Birmingham are unlikely to be from the local area.”

Anyone who recognises anyone in the EDL images should contact officers from Operation Lynx in the incident room on 0121 626 4017 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

People can also email tellus@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk.