Police warn Pompey fans ahead of South Coast derby

PLEA Supt Rick Burrows
PLEA Supt Rick Burrows
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POLICE have warned Pompey supporters with tickets for this weekend’s Southampton clash they won’t get in if they’re not on a designated coach.

Officers are aiming for a repeat of the previous derby fixture at Fratton Park last December which saw very few arrests.

More than 40 coaches will be leaving from Fratton Park and Lakeside at North Harbour, escorted by police officers, for the journey to St Mary’s stadium in Southampton on Saturday.

Hampshire police say there will be 250 officers on duty in Southampton.

Superintendent Rick Burrows said: ‘Any Portsmouth supporter with a ticket for the game and not planning on travelling on one of the official designated coaches – our message is simple: you will not get in.

‘It’s important that safety comes first, which is why we are operating the coach “bubble” again.

‘The plan is tried and tested, and it works. The feedback we had from fans and members of the public after the match in December was overwhelmingly positive and supportive of what we did to achieve a safe outcome for all.

‘We are conscious of individuals’ human rights, but are satisfied that our plan is both proportionate and appropriate in the measures applied to ensure the safety of all the fans attending and the public.’