POLICE will be aiming for a ‘trouble-free’ event at tomorrow’s Pompey match.
Hampshire Constabulary has issued a statement ahead of the first leg play off at Fratton Park between Plymouth and Portsmouth.
Superintendent Kelly Whiting, match commander, said: ‘We appreciate that this is a crucial first leg play-off and understand the significance of this match to fans, which is why we want it to run smoothly.
‘Hampshire Constabulary work closely with Portsmouth Football Club (PFC) and it is our intention to prevent crime and disorder and promote a trouble free event to ensure the safety of all fans. Those who are intent on committing offences are likely to be arrested and face lengthy banning orders that prohibit them from attending future matches.
‘Specially trained public order officers will be used as part of our operation to manage the crowd before, during and after the match.
‘We know that most supporters will travel to and from the match to enjoy the game and we will be working closely with the British Transport Police, Local Authority and PFC to minimise congestion and disruption to local communities in the hope that journeys run smoothly.
‘This match is suspected to be a sell-out with nearly 19,000 supporters to Fratton Park, of which more than 2,000 will be away fans. The vast majority of supporters attend the football to enjoy the game and do so peacefully. People should be able to bring their children and family members to the matches without worry and therefore we hope that everyone will be able to enjoy the evening without incident.’