Metal wall will keep fans apart on derby day

portable metal wall that will be used by Hampshire Constabulary on December 18, during the match between Portsmouth and Saints.'Pic shows the wall at Alverstone Road during a recent trial run.
portable metal wall that will be used by Hampshire Constabulary on December 18, during the match between Portsmouth and Saints.'Pic shows the wall at Alverstone Road during a recent trial run.

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HUGE metal walls will be put up for Pompey’s home game against Southampton to keep fans apart.

Police are using the 8ft tall blocks at major junctions.

They will be moved into locations in Vernon Avenue, Alverstone Road and Specks Lane in Fratton.

PC Barney Hockley said: ‘There’s no view through these, so people can’t get face-to-face with each other. Once they are in place they’re pretty immovable.’

Officers are also warning the public to stay away from the Eastern Road area of Portsmouth on the day of the match. Up to 50 coaches packed with fans will be heading in a convoy to Portsmouth for the game, which kicks off at 1pm on December 18.

All Saints fans who want to see the game must be on the official coaches from Southampton, Winchester or Bursledon, or they will not be allowed into Fratton Park.

And they will be under heavy police escort for the entire trip – allowing officers to clear the road ahead of them as they enter the city in a bid to avoid trouble.

A marked police car will stop traffic at the top of Eastern Road to make way for the convoy.

At a final briefing about security at the game, Superintendent Rick Burrows, who is heading the operation, said: ‘The whole focus will be on getting those convoys down to the ground safely.

‘We want to do everything we can to encourage the public to use alternative routes into the city that day and stay away from Eastern Road.

‘It’s also the last proper shopping weekend before Christmas, so the roads will be busy anyway.’

PC Mick Brown, Portsmouth football liaison officer, added: ‘Everything leading towards Portsmouth will have signs up from the week before saying there will be extra pressure on Eastern Road on that day.’

Marked police cars will also be on every bridge over the M27 between the cities.

The deadline for Saints fans to buy tickets for the game passed late last night, but yesterday there were several hundred of the 3,200 allocation still on sale.

Mark Long, safety officer for Saints, said many fans had been put off by the travel arrangements.

Southampton FC will also be sending 50 stewards along to help control fans.