UK right-wing extremists 'hijacking' vigilante patrols protecting against looters: Police

Last Updated: Thu, Aug 11, 2011 07:10 hrs

Right-wing extremists in Britain could 'hijack' vigilante patrols protecting against rioters across London, the country's most senior police official has warned.

Acting Metropolitan Police Commissioner Tim Godwin pointed out fingers towards the English Defence League (EDL) and the British National Party as two organisations that might exploit the situation, the Daily Mail reports.

Police warned the groups have potential to 'fuel the flames' of an already fraught situation by adding a 'violent racial element'.

"I am worried that there are groups out there like the EDL and BNP who are trying to hijack this and cause more tensions in the community. They are politically motivated groups who have another agenda," the paper quoted Godwin, as saying.

"I have not got a problem with community groups protecting their property or places of worship, which wasn't needed in the end," he added.

His warning comes amid intelligence that the EDL has successfully infiltrated vigilante groups in Enfield, North London and Eltham in South East London, the paper said.

Underlining police concerns, the EDL said that 'supporters have taken to the streets to help defend their communities and prepare for the clean-up operations.' (ANI)