Police urge fans to be on best behaviour for Town v Leeds clash
PUBLISHED: 14:28 01 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:23 01 May 2019
Police are urging fans to enjoy the final match of the season between Ipswich Town and Leeds Utd in good spirits - despite the mixed fortunes of the two clubs involved.
More than 4,000 tickets have been given to Leeds fans ahead of the Championship clash at Portman Road on Sunday, May 5.
Police are asking both sets of fans to arrive at the ground early for the match, which kicks off at 12.30pm.
A spokesman said bag searches would be taking place and that fans should be aware they may be asked to show their tickets before reaching the ground.
Chief Inspector Simon Mills, who will be overseeing the police operation on the day, said: “There will be a high profile police presence to ensure all supporters arrive and leave the ground safely.
“With relegation from the Championship confirmed for Ipswich Town I am sure the fans will remain positive and enjoy the match in the right spirit.
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“For Leeds, they will be playing the match with the prospect of a place in the play-offs now secure, and we also expect them to behave in responsible, sensible and well-mannered fashion.
“I would also stress to fans from Leeds that if you do not have a ticket for the game please do not travel with the expectation of getting into the ground as you will face disappointment.
“We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour, violence, racial chanting, mindless vandalism or any alcohol-fuelled disorder from either sets of fans.
“We will also be applying section 35 dispersal powers if necessary. This will allow us to deal with individuals engaging in anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder, not only when they have occurred or are occurring but when they are likely to occur. Failure to comply with the direction to leave an area is a criminal offence as is failure to surrender any items when requested to do so by police.
“We know that the vast majority of fans attending will be there to enjoy the game and we will be there to welcome them. Officers will be approachable and are there to ensure the safety of those attending the game and members of the public wishing to go about their normal business.”
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Planning any event that involves large numbers of people needs careful consideration and I know Constabulary has worked closely with the football club to ensure everyone enjoys the Ipswich Leeds match and I'd like to thank them for this.
“I know the outcome of this match will not make any difference to Ipswich's fate but I hope everyone acts responsibly to ensure that the fixture is enjoyable for everyone.”
“Fans are asked to allow extra time for their journeys to and from the stadium and to follow the directions of stewards and police officers at the ground.”