SHEFFIELD DERBY: Police have issued this message to fans ahead of the game

Police chiefs have issued a message to football fans ahead of the Sheffield derby next week – urging them to avoid becoming embroiled in disorder.

By Claire Lewis
Friday, 1st March 2019, 11:04 am
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 11:07 am
Police officers on duty at the Steel City derby yesterday

Chief Superintendent Shaun Morley, who is running the policing operation for Monday’s derby at Hillsborough, said the focus of the operation is ‘safety’.

Police officers on duty at the Steel City derby yesterday

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He will have 300 officers on duty for the game, including some drafted in from other forces to boost numbers, and said they have been briefed to ‘take positive action’ if any fans become involved in disorder or are deemed at risk of becoming embroiled.

The police chief said he wants fans to enjoy the game in a safe environment.

“Historically, with this fixture there was an expectation of disorder and incidents occurred at various locations – at the ground, outside and in the pubs and clubs – because of rivalry and the emotion around the event.

“We have reviewed the policing of the events and tried to learn from them and now take a more preventative approach.

“For example, all those individuals who we have intelligence on, or information that they are likely to be seeking disorder, have been visited at home.

“We have explained that safety is our priority and the police will be monitoring their activity and will take positive action should they become involved in any disorder.

“Those with Banning Orders have also been visited to ensure they know to stay away.”

He added: “I want supporters watching the match in pubs or at the game to enjoy it and not to involve themselves in any confrontation.

“There will be a few individuals who will be seeking to create conflict and confrontation but I would ask the genuine supporters not to involve themselves in that because we have a substantial policing  operation which will be very efficient and very effective and we will take decisive, positive action if there is any disorder or anti-social behaviour.”