South Yorkshire police chiefs in bid to prevent yobs ‘spoiling’ local derby

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Extra police officers will be on duty in South Yorkshire this weekend to keep rival football fans apart.

Police chiefs are warning troublemakers ‘intent on disorder’ before, during or after the Barnsley FC v Sheffield United derby on Saturday that their behaviour ‘will not be tolerated’.

Chief Superintendent David Hartley, who is overseeing the policing of the match in Barnsley, said fans should expect to see a ‘significant police presence’ in Barnsley town centre.

And he warned that any anti-social behaviour, drunk and disorderly conduct or violent disorder will be ‘policed swiftly and robustly’.

Chf Supt Hartley added: “We are well aware that tensions are running high between the two groups of fans and that this is a hotly anticipated local derby.

“We therefore want to ensure that the game is an enjoyable experience for all who attend. We will not let the minority among the fans, who might have thoughts about spoiling the event, ruin what promises to be an exciting match for everyone else.

“Our aim is to provide a high visibility police presence in and around the ground to ensure the wider community are able to go about their daily business with as little disruption as possible.

“Disorder of any kind will not be tolerated at this weekend’s fixture.

“If you are caught engaging in anti-social behaviour or other criminality, you will be dealt with robustly and are likely to face arrest.”

Barriers will be used around Oakwell to keep rival supporters apart, with more than 18,000 expected at the match, including 5,000 away fans.

Police are warning fans to allow plenty of time to get to the ground.

Chf Supt Hartley added: “I would advise all fans travelling to the game to plan their route beforehand and leave plenty of time for travel as there will inevitably be an increase in traffic in the area.”

The Metrodome complex will be the only place serving alcohol to away fans ahead of the 12.15pm game.