Police appeal for calm at big match

POLICE are appealing for rival football supporters to act responsibly tonight as Colchester United and Ipswich Town clash at Layer Road. While everyone is optimistic the night will pass off without any trouble, police horses will be making the journey from London to support the town's police force and ensure fans have a safe and enjoyable evening.

POLICE are appealing for rival football supporters to act responsibly tonight as Colchester United and Ipswich Town clash at Layer Road.

While everyone is optimistic the night will pass off without any trouble, police horses will be making the journey from London to support the town's police force and ensure fans have a safe and enjoyable evening.

Marie Partner, chief executive of the U's, confirmed the game had been given a Category C status, meaning while it is not amongst the highest risk games for the club, police will be monitoring it closely.

She said: “What we're saying to fans without tickets is that there is no point coming to the ground because we have a complete sell-out.


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“As well as dogs and horses outside, there will be a 36-strong police presence in the ground. However we have very good stewards who we would have been quite happy to have handled the game themselves.”

More than 1,200 Ipswich fans are expected to travel to the Championship game, which is being shown live on Sky.

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Chief Inspector Steve Johnson, who is in charge of policing at the game, said: “It is going to be a great occasion and a spectacle for the town.

“It will be seen nationally and we ask people to come and support their team, enjoy the evening and the game, and act in a responsible and well behaved manner. I would hope it will be a nice family atmosphere.”

The U's have not faced Ipswich in the league since 1957, and for most of the Layer Road faithful this will be a new experience.

Borough councillor, associate director of the club, and former mayor of Colchester, Terry Sutton, said: “Fans of both sides have a good reputation and are not known to be troublemakers, it should be a clean game both inside and outside the gates.

“I am very keen to see Ipswich come and to make the return journey to Portman Road. It is going to be a very exciting night.

“I think there will be a huge atmosphere in the ground at what is the first real sell-out so far.

“For the fans, this is the one they're all up for. We're in great form, great shape and had some great results lately.”

elliot.furniss@eadt.co.uk

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