The incident occurred after an increase in the number of refugees and asylum seekers crossing the channel to Great Britain by boat.
Police have arrested 15 people after an anti-refugee demonstration outside a hotel used to house asylum seekers turned violent near the English city of Liverpool.
Merseyside Police said an officer and two civilians suffered minor injuries during the disturbance in Knowsley on Friday night.
Police said some protesters threw objects and set a police van on fire. The arrested persons, who were between the ages of 13 and 54, were detained “after a violent disturbance”.
Merseyside Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell told Radio City: “It was incredibly dangerous and there were several injuries among officers.”
The Ministry of the Interior has been using the hotel for temporary accommodation of asylum seekers since last year, local media reported.
George Howarth, who represents Knowsley in the UK Parliament, said Friday night’s violence did not reflect the community.
“The people of Knowsley are not bigots and are happy to accept people fleeing some of the most dangerous places in the world in search of a place of safety,” he said. “Those demonstrating against refugees at this protest tonight do not represent this community.”
The protest took place amid heightened tensions as increasing numbers of refugees and migrants cross the Channel in small boats.
More than 45,000 people arrived in the UK through this route in 2022, and most of them applied for asylum.
The system for processing asylum claims has slowed to a crawl due to political turmoil and bureaucratic delays, leaving many asylum seekers stuck in hotels or other temporary accommodation.
Channel crossings have become a political issue, with the Conservative government vowing to “stop the boats” and implement a plan to send such asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Opponents accused the government of demonizing desperate people fleeing war and poverty.