Football policing to be reviewed after ‘most challenging match’

Posted On 29 Nov 2017 at 9:24 am

A full debrief and review of how Albion matches are policed is to be carried out after last night’s trouble, which Sussex Police’s football liaison described as “the most challenging match” he had been involved in.

By 11.30pm last night, six people had been arrested for a range of violent offences connected to the match with Albion’s arch-rivals Crystal Palace, including throwing missiles, threatening words and homophobic abuse.

Crowds were kettled by Brighton Station before the match started, and bystanders estimating about 150 Crystal Palace fans were escorted away from the station towards the seafront.

And a large group of ticketless fans arrived at the Amex and stormed the turnstiles. Brighton and Hove Albion FC said two of its stewards were injured and taken to hospital. Fans reported that some were able to gain entry, and flares were set off inside the stadium.

Some fans who did have tickets were turned away after the turnstiles were closed six minutes into the game. Fans of both teams were kettled outside the stadium for some time before being escorted away.

However, there was no major incident during the night’s events.

Sussex Police said: “Sussex Police will be undertaking a full debrief and a review of the policing operation in conjunction with Brighton and Hove Albion following the match against Crystal Palace on Tuesday (November 28).

“Police dealt with a number of incidents of disorder and described the operation as ‘challenging’, but without major incident

“By 11.30pm, six people had been arrested. A 26-year-old man from South Croydon and a 15-year-old boy from Brighton were both arrested on suspicion of throwing or discharging a missile.

“A 51-year-old man from Worthing and a 30-year-old man from Horley were both arrested on suspicion of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

“A 45-year-old man from Portslade was arrested on suspicion of being a football spectator failing to comply with a banning order, and a 41-year-old man from St Leonards-on-Sea was arrested on suspicion of homophobic abuse.”

Tensions had been rising in the city all day, with a mural of Albion captain Bruno Saltor daubed with red paint overnight, and CPFC tags painted around the North Laine and at the stadium itself.

And at lunchtime, a group of Palace fans who call themselves the Holmesdale Fanatics posted this picture of themselves on Queens Road.

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