Reports of racially-motivated riots at Bexley Square on Chapel Street in Salford have been debunked, as it turns out a production company were filming scenes for the ITV crime drama Scott and Bailey.
Concerned readers posted reports to the 14,000-member SalfordOnline Facebook group that riot vans, police and pseudo-fascist protesters were clashing outside The New Oxford Pub at Bexley Square.
Around 40 EDL-style protesters with their faces covered and draped in St George Cross flags were seen battering police holding riot shields.
But when a reporter was sent down to investigate, it emerged the tensions between the two parties were simply being staged for the camera.
The timing of the filming is somewhat questionable: with commemorations for Armistice Day underway it could be seen as insensitive to stage violent clashes on a day set aside to remember those who lost their lives in armed conflicts.
Bexley Square – home to the former Salford Magistrates Courts – is also a politically-charged scene in Salford.
In 1931 thousands of unemployed people clashed with real-life riot police as they protested welfare cuts which were plunging families into despair.
They were met by a large contingent of policemen, including some on horseback, which resulted in a huge uprising which has gone down in history as The Battle of Bexley Square.
Scott and Bailey is a detective drama series set in Greater Manchester.
Detective Constable Janet Scott, played by Manchester native Lesley Sharp, and Detective Constable Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones) are members of the Major Incident Team (MIT) of the fictional Manchester Metropolitan Police.
It’s understood the scenes filmed here today will air in January 2016.