Seven football fans arrested during dawn raids
SEVEN men were arrested this morning during a series of dawn raids in connection with football related violence.
Warrants were executed between 6am and 6.30am at five residential addresses in Swindon and two in Wantage to arrest outstanding offenders for violent disorder.
All seven men, aged between 17 and 47, remain in custody at Gablecross Police Station at this time.
The disorder took place at 7pm on Saturday April 12 in the Manchester Road area, close to the Tap and Barrel pub. The incident took place straight after the Swindon Town Vs Brentford football match.
The warrants took place following detailed police enquiries after the incident due to the large numbers of people involved.
Officers from across the Force were used in the operation, including support from specialist officers from the Tri-force collaboration with Gloucestershire Police and Avon and Somerset Constabulary.
As part of the operation there has been close liaison between Local Crime Team investigators, Football Intelligence Officers, Central Sector Neighbourhood Policing Team and the Licensing Officers at Wiltshire Police.
Inspector Paul Saunders, Sector Head for the Town Centre, said: “A lot of time, effort and planning has gone into identifying these offenders, gathering all the required evidence and preparing for the early morning arrests which we have carried out today.
“The disorder was disgraceful and had a knock on effect for the local community. It also brings with it unwanted associations for the football club.
“ The actions of these people tarnish the reputation of real football fans, who are actually interested in the game and what is taking place on the field, and not the drunken brawling which a minority seem to be focused on.
“The message for those involved is quite simple: just because you don’t get arrested on the day does not mean that we won’t be coming for you at some point in the future, and certainly doesn’t mean you have got away with it.
"If we can identify you, then you will be getting that early morning knock on the door and we will hold you to account for your actions.”
As part of the investigation into this incident, Swindon Licensing Officers are also working with the owners and management of The Tap And Barrel public house.
Wiltshire Police Licensing officer Sian Kalynka, said: "Alcohol is often a contributing factor in incidents such as this and, from a licensing perspective, we have to make sure that licensed premises linked to these type of offences are also engaged as part of the investigation.
“Responsibility under the Licensing Act does not necessarily stop when people leave a venue, if a causal link can be proven then a venue can face serious consequences, which is why early engagement with landlords and owners is key to preventing future disorders.”