South Yorkshire Police call for football derby fans to behave

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POLICE chiefs are appealing to football fans to avoid causing trouble when Barnsley FC plays Leeds United in a Yorkshire derby at the weekend.

Officers putting together the policing plan for the Championship game said they want fans to ‘respect the law and to not engage in any anti-social behaviour’.

Extra police officers will be on duty before, during and after the game in a bid to keep rival fans apart.

Chief Superintendent Andy Brooke, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “We understand the passion involved in football especially with it being a local Yorkshire derby and we want everyone to enjoy the fixture by acting responsibly before, during and after the match.

“We have planned the policing of this event with Barnsley Football Club and have extra resources in place to deal with this fixture.

“I look forward to welcoming both home and away fans to Barnsley. I have a commitment to ensure people remain safe, therefore I will be taking a tough approach on anyone involved in football-related disorder. Anyone caught being subject to such behaviour may face a court appearance and a ban from attending all football matches.

“Police and the club stewards will be present at all entrances of the ground and anyone who wishes to attend the turnstiles under the influence of alcohol or in possession of any illegal substances or objects that may cause harm to themselves or others will be refused entry. Alcohol will not be served in the ground.

“We are asking for both sets of fans’ co-operation to ensure this match runs smoothly and is enjoyed by all.

“We will be asking Leeds United fans to remain seated for a couple of minutes after the final whistle to let the crowds disperse.

“We understand the importance and the enjoyment of a local derby and we wish everyone a safe match.”

In October Leeds fans were criticised when a thug attacked Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland during the 1-1 Championship clash at Hillsborough.