Saturday, April 18, 2015 was the usual football season chaos for drivers who weren’t interested in anything happening in Bramall Lane but were travelling around Sheffield.
Traffic/mounted and foot duty police officers were all on display at various venues to prevent problems arising, along with road closures and general inconvenience to all road users.
Officers were escorting 21,400 fans to the ground.
I was stuck in Ecclesall Road behind a bus, on the back of which was an advert.
The image was of a number of pairs of black boots sitting idly by with the caption reading something like: “Wouldn’t these boots be better put to use with more bobbies in them? £74.6m cuts from government means they won’t be. “
This statement was signed by the South Yorkshire Police Federation.
I’m all for more police presence on our streets, but the federation should leave politics well alone. Their role is to protect, advise and support their members who are all police officers, ensuring they are safe to carry out their duties protected by the knowledge that the federation always has their best interests at heart.
Also, Sheffield has two football teams but the fixture list only has one playing at home on any one day, thus trying to prevent total chaos on the roads.
Over the weekend seven out of 14 London teams were playing in London plus a Wembley semi-final (84,000)
The average gate for a top-flight London team (Chelsea) is over 40,000.
No chaos at Wembley or Chelsea, just sensible police presence. No road closures, just slight inconvenience at 5pm as the fans filed home.
South Yorkshire Police Federation should stick to what it was designed to do and stop appearing to be too big for their own boots.