Police warning to soccer yobs
8:40am Wednesday 5th September 2012 in Latest News
POLICE have warned football fans intent on causing trouble at Swindon Town’s game against rival Oxford tonight to stay away.
The Robins are set to renew their A420 rivalry with the Us at the Kassam Stadium in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first round.
And they will be looking to avenge their double defeat in League Two last season.
Both games were marred by disorder both in Swindon town centre and in Oxford.
Police had to stop a bus carrying Swindon supporters on the B480 ahead of the game after chairs were thrown out of the vehicle towards other road users.
It resulted in seven arrests among both sets of fans.
Ahead of tonight’s game Chief Inspector Jim O’Ryan, of Thames Valley Police, said: “Thames Valley Police will support Oxford United to ensure that anyone who wants to enjoy an evening watching football can do so.
“Anyone intent on causing trouble should stay away.”
Wiltshire Police Football Intelligence officer Detective Sergeant James Neighbour said lessons would have been learned from last season.
He said: “As far as we are concerned we are providing assistance to Thames Valley Police in Oxford city centre and the stadium, and our job will be to proactively look for troublemakers.
“We are aware of the possibility of troublemakers travelling because it is a derby and a high pressure game.
“But we are determined not to let the minority spoil it for the vast majority.
“Swindon has got fantastic support and I emphasise it is a very small minority who cause issues.
“Thames Valley would have looked at what happened in March this year and use that as a template while trying to resolve any issues last time around.”
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “We would like to reassure football fans attending the game and residents in the local area who will be going about their normal evening.
“Historically, football matches between these two clubs attract a small group of people who are intent on causing trouble.
“We recognise that the vast majority of supporters will be there to enjoy the game and have a good time.
“There will once again be a policing operation in place to ensure any disorder is dealt with robustly and kept to a minimum.”