The English Defence League and the British National Party are "just as much of a real threat" as Islamic State (Isis), Derbyshire Police have said. Sergeant John Brooker said that his police force treat far-right groups the same way they would treat Isis.
Brooker made the comments while speaking to Peak FM on 18 February, saying that groups like the EDL and BNP have the ability to divide society and create hatred, just as Isis and al-Qaeda do. He said that the far-right groups had the potential to radicalise people and make them want to commit terrorist acts.
Brooker told Peak FM: "The biggest threat is very much centred on Syria and Iraq based on groups such as Islamic State, however, we certainly can't ignore the right-wing issues and the far-right issues that do exist in our communities and are just as much of a real threat in terms of community division, hatred and deplorable acts as anything else."
The comments come days after the BNP returned from being a "dead" party for more than one month. On 11 February the party registered itself on the Electoral Commission again, following being stripped of its status as a political party on 8 January 2016 when it failed to hand over up-to-date records and pay a £25 registration fee, which are both legal requirements.
A spokesperson for the right-wing party said: "The BNP is now fully re-registered with the Electoral Commision, and gearing up to stand a full-slate of candidates in the GLA and a BNP London Mayoral candidate, David Furness, while standing in target seats across the country."
Meanwhile the EDL has complained to the BBC about being mentioned in TV drama, Silent Witness, described as a crime drama focusing on investigating a number of different crimes. The EDL has accused them of linking them to a character who is wanted for murder. EDL chairman Alan Spence said: "It is contemptuous for the BBC to imply that the English Defence League is an organisation which would attract someone who would murder anyone, regardless of whether they are Muslim or not."