Group criticises Hampshire police’s ‘bubble’ plan for south coast derby

BUBBLE The Southampton fans convoys arrive at Fratton Park on December 18, 2011. Picture: Malcolm Wells (114424-7951)
BUBBLE The Southampton fans convoys arrive at Fratton Park on December 18, 2011. Picture: Malcolm Wells (114424-7951)
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CIVIL liberties campaigners have criticised the controversial ‘coach bubble’ being used by police for tomorrow’s Pompey v Saints match.

The Manifesto Club, a body which campaigns against ‘hyper-regulation of everyday life’, criticised the tactic being used by Hampshire police to help prevent trouble flaring between rival fans.

Pompey supporters will travel to St Mary’s Stadium by a police-led coach convoy.

On arrival fans will be taken to a heavily policed ‘safe area’ surrounded by metal barriers in a bid to prevent a repeat of violence that marred the club’s last away clash against Saints in February 2010.

But campaigners say the tactic – used for the Pompey v Saints derby at Fratton Park in December – is too heavy handed.

Manifesto Club’s Peter Lloyd said: ‘We call on football clubs, the police and local authorities to reject and end the extreme and discriminatory practice of bubble matches.

Instead, police and football authorities should concentrate on tackling troublemakers and incidents of disorder directly, with the co-operation of football clubs and supporters’ organisations.’