Police in Leicester have called for calm after “serious disorder” broke out at an unplanned protest on Saturday.

A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said two people were arrested after the large crowds of young men gathered in the city on Saturday night, continuing into early Sunday morning.

Several incidents of violence and damage were reported to the police and are currently being investigated.

Police say a large group of men were travelling towards Green Lane Road in east Leicester, where the disorder began. Dispersal and stop and search powers were authorised to help officers in restoring calm and the situation is currently under control.

A police spokesman said: “Several incidents of violence and damage have been reported to the police and are being investigated.

“We are aware of a video circulating showing a man pulling down a flag outside a religious building on Melton Road, Leicester.

“This appears to have taken place while police officers were dealing with public disorder in the area. The incident will be investigated.

“Two arrests were made – one man on suspicion of conspiracy to commit violent disorder and one man on suspicion of possession of a bladed article. They remain in police custody.

“We are continuing to call for dialogue and calm with support from local community leaders. We will not tolerate violence or disorder in our city.”

Additional officers have been on patrol in the area in recent weeks after a number of disorderly incidents following an Asia Cup cricket match, and reports on social media say the violence was religiously motivated.

Claudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East, joined the police in calling for calm on Saturday night.

She wrote on Twitter: “This is a time for cool heads. I implore everyone to go home. We can strengthen our dialogue to repair community relations.

“Your family will be worried for your safety, please accept the advice of the police who are trying to defuse and are calling for calm.”