Extra officers set to work to prevent trouble between rival Blades and Leeds fans

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EXTRA police officers have been drafted in to work to prevent rival football fans clashing when Sheffield United play Leeds United tomorrow.

South Yorkshire Police said staff are geared up for an ‘increased risk’ of disorder when the two teams meet at Bramall Lane.

The game has been brought forward to a 1pm kick-off to reduce the amount of time fans have available to drink in pubs before the game.

Sheffield United has also agreed not to sell alcohol in the ground during the game or half time.

Superintendent Martin Scothern, responsible for planning for and overseeing the policing arrangements for the day, said when the two teams met for their first derby of the season there were 40 arrests.

He said: “There will be a high police presence in Sheffield around the game because we think there’s an increased risk of public disorder.

“It’s a local derby and at the previous game at Leeds earlier in the season there were 40 arrests.

“We have to be prepared for the worst but hope for the best.

“We have cancelled police leave for the last two weekends – the first for the Lib Dem conference and the second for the derby because we want a lot of police officers on the ground to keep to a minimum any opportunities for people to get involved in any disorder.

“Kick-off has also been brought forward to 1pm to help us in our efforts to minimise drinking time available before the game.”

He has issued a warning to Leeds fans not to buy tickets in Sheffield United’s end, warning that any away fans caught among Blades supporters face arrest.

Supt Scothern added: “If we find any away supporters in the Sheffield end they will be ejected and face arrest. They may behave impeccably but if they jump up or shout at the wrong time they run the risk of harm and causing disorder.”