‘Significant inaccuracies’ in police report over derby clash, claim Ipswich Town
AN INVESTIGATION into clashes between fans at last season’s derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City has concluded that more police officers should have been deployed.
Suffolk police launched an internal inquiry into the trouble that flared between fans at the match on Portman Road on the evening of Maundy Thursday, April 21.
It followed complaints from Norwich City and Canaries fans which said the force had been “incompetent” in its policing of the Championship game.
In a statement following the publication of the report, Supt John Everett said: “The report’s main recommendation was that a larger number of specially-trained officers should be deployed for future, similar key fixtures in order to prevent congestion of the route to and from Portman Road as well as preventing public disorder.”
The report also said that derby matches should revert back to Sunday lunchtimes to avoid fans arriving early and drinking alcohol before the match.
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On the night of the local derby, which Norwich won 5-1, fans clashed before kick-off. Police arrested 19 people and 13 others were removed from the ground.
Both football clubs and the police had wanted the match to take place on Good Friday but the police report said Ipswich Town could not afford the additional policing costs for a bank holiday.
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Another recommendation has suggested designated pubs introduce a “dry hour” leading up to kick-off which would encourage fans to leave in plenty of time and avoid congestion near the ground.
Steve Pearce, Ipswich Town spokesman, said: “We have only recently gained sight of the full report but it contains some significant inaccuracies that we are already in the process of raising through the appropriate channels.
“These discrepancies include the decision-making process to play the game on the Thursday, as well as the claim that the club sold tickets for home areas to away fans as a result of a voucher scheme, which simply isn’t the case.
“A meeting with all parties is already planned for February when we will be seeking to iron out these inaccuracies. Until that time, the club will be making no further comment on this issue.”