Extra police are drafted in for Pompey v Leeds

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EXTRA police will be on patrol for Pompey’s clash against Leeds in a bid to minimise the chances of trouble.

Dozens of extra officers will be drafted in for the Championship clash at Fratton Park on February 25.

About 60 officers will be on duty for the game after police classified it as a category B medium-risk match.

This is double the amount drafted in for category A or low-risk games.

For the games considered safest, such as Pompey’s fixtures against Middlesbrough, Hull City and Ipswich where there is no history of animosity between the clubs, stewards would run the game and there would only be intelligence-gathering officers inside the stadium.

PC Mick Brown, football liaison officer for Portsmouth, said there was no intelligence to suggest trouble is likely to flare at the game next month.

But the extra officers are being put in place to ensure supporters enjoy the match safely.

PC Brown said: ‘Leeds have got a crew that have got quite an established reputation throughout the years, although they have not been as bad recently as they have in the past. There is some history between Leeds and Portsmouth, although it’s quite a while back.

‘We have got no intelligence to suggest anything is going to happen.

‘The policing levels are a decision we make to make sure we cover all bases.

‘We won’t use anybody from outside the force.’

Up to 32 Pompey fans and 106 Leeds fans who have banning orders after getting involved in football-related violence must stay away from the match.

Anyone flouting their court-imposed order faces arrest, a fine and even prison.

PC Brown added: ‘The teams have both got reputations and we have got that resilience in place in case they want to become engaged in disorder.’

Although policing levels are being increased for Pompey’s clash against Leeds they are still less than a quarter of the number of officers on duty for last month’s south coast derby.

About 250 officers including the force helicopter, dog units and mounted police from Thames Valley were drafted in for Pompey’s 1-1 draw against Saints.

Metal barriers were put up to keep rival fans apart outside Fratton Park and Saints fans had to travel by coach with a police escort. Two people were arrested.