In a city where heavily mechanized business and industry controls the economy (and were largely responsible for the 88% unemployment rate) robots were too useful to get rid of despite Call-Me-Kenneth's insurrection. But the Robot Wars left psychic scars on Mega City One and a lot of anti robot sentiment. Vigilante groups dedicated to keeping the robots in their place sprang up and it was a bad idea for a citizen to get between them and their target. While most citizens didn't actively support the extremists there was a lot of passive support among the citizenry. As Dredd discovered in Prog 29 when investigate the death of a citizen and his robot at the hands of the Neon Knights. Script by Pat Mills, art by Ian Gibson.
Dredd's meditations in the Judge Memorial to the fallen is interrupted when he spots the rally by Walter's executioners-to-be and goes to investigate.
Dredd wasn't trying to escape. He needed to get to his lawmaster so he could take on the entire Klan. After singlehandedly wiping out most of the Neon Knights and uncovering their leader's dark secret Dredd has pretty well broken the Knights spirit as we see in the conclusion.