Suffolk: Inquiry into handling of fans on football derby day

AN internal inquiry into officers’ handling of fans at the East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City has been launched by Suffolk police.

Nineteen people were arrested and 13 ejected from Portman Road before and during last month’s game, which saw the Blues beaten by their arch rivals 5-1.

In addition, seven men were charged with threatening behaviour and one with being in possession of class A drugs on April 21.

Following this, Norwich City chief executive David McNally filed a formal complaint against Suffolk police over treatment of Canaries’ fans

Posting on Twitter, he said: “Really disappointed with the police treatment of our fans on Thursday night. We will be lodging an official complaint.”

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A spokesman for Suffolk police confirmed the force had received complaints from Norwich City Football Club and “correspondence from a handful of supporters”.

The spokesman said: “We will be examining the planning that went into the policing operation as well as focusing on the way in which travelling supporters were dealt with prior to the kick-off.

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“We hope to conclude our report before the end of May but will be meeting with club officials in the next seven days in order to agree the parameters of the inquiry.”

Meanwhile, the prosecution of fans charged following the derby match has begun.

Norwich City supporter Aaron Wainwright denied abusing rival supporters at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, in Ipswich, yesterday.

The 19-year-old had allegedly broke through a police line outside the ground and shouted abuse at Ipswich fans. Wainwright, of Springdale Crescent, Brundall near Norwich, pleaded not guilty to using threatening words or behaviour on April 21. He will return before Suffolk magistrates on June 1.

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