Police issue message to fans ahead of upcoming match between Sheffield United and Millwall
Police chiefs have issued a message to football fans ahead of an upcoming match between Sheffield United and Millwall at the weekend.
Superintendent Sarah Poolman, who is the senior officer overseeing the policing operation for the upcoming fixture on Saturday, April 13, said there will be a barrier system in place to ensure fans can leave Bramall Lane safely and quickly.
There will also be plans in place to deal with any disorder should it arise.
The police chief said the hope is to facilitate an ‘enjoyable and safe’ match experience for all.
“Following the introduction of a Football Independent Advisory Group (IAG), one of the key issues to emerge from this, from our footballing communities, was a feeling that policing plans for football fixtures weren’t shared with fan groups ahead of time.
“This has led to some frustrations among fans, which we appreciate and understand. To try and improve upon this going forward, we want to share our plans with fans and the IAG ahead of time so that there is time to process, raise any questions and discuss.
“We are also using specialist Police Liaison Officers (PLO) to engage with both SUFC and Millwall fan groups ahead of the match, ensuring that everyone knows what our plans are.
“Those PLO’s will also be working on the match day, providing support and information to both home and away fans, should there be any questions or concerns.
“For Millwall fans arriving by train and for our local communities living and working around the train station and in the city centre, you can expect to see a heightened police presence from Saturday morning – this is to help Millwall fans find the most suitable pubs in the city centre and the most appropriate route to the ground.
“Police liaison will continue to offer advice and communicate any changes to all fans throughout the day.
“We have a duty to plan contingencies should there be disorder, and whilst we appreciate that the vast majority of fans are coming to watch the match, we will have plans in place to manage any group that are engaging in disorderly behaviour and seeking to disrupt what is intended to be an enjoyable day out.
“After the match, both our home and away fans need to be aware that a barrier plan will be in place – as it has been for several previous fixtures at Bramall Lane.”
She added: “We know that there are some frustrations around their use amongst home fans, but please let me assure you that this is to ensure that fans can leave the stadium safely and quickly, with as little disruption as possible.
“Information on this plan will be provided in advance of match day and throughout the day itself by both the police and the club.
“Because of the tight layout of Bramall Lane and its proximity to busy highways, businesses and residential areas, the barriers are a necessary measure to keep everyone safe and also minimise disruption to the local community around that area.
“We hope that it is an enjoyable Saturday for everyone involved.”