Football police reviewing footage from Portsmouth v Southampton match to decide 'next steps'

POLICE are poring over footage of rival Pompey and Southampton fans after the south coast derby clash.

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 5:36 pm

Hundreds of officers, with many brought in from other forces, staged the ‘biggest football police operation’ in Hampshire last month for the Carabao Cup match.

Southampton fans arrived by train and were escorted by tight police lines to Fratton Park where the Blues lost 4-0.

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A flare at Fratton Park when Pompey played Southampton in the third round of the Carabao Cup on September 24. Picture: Joe Pepler

They were met by Pompey fans shouting and jeering, with hundreds pushed back by officers from Fratton station along Goldsmith Avenue for more than an hour to get Saints fans safely to the ground.

Despite rain after the match, tensions flared with items thrown towards police and Luna, a police horse with Thames Valley, being punched by a man later arrested and released by police. He was among four people arrested.

Flares were let off at the Shepherds Crook pub by Pompey fans ahead of the match – and a red flare was lit at Fratton Park near away fans, and near Fratton train station.

Police presence in Goldsmith Avenue, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Previous cases of football violence have been met with sentences ranging from fines to jail terms.

In September 2017 a 20-person strong pitch invasion broke out at the Pompey v Oldham match.

Two men were fined and handed football banning orders, while a third lager-fuelled man was given a suspended sentence for throwing ‘two missiles’.

Pompey vs Saints at Fratton Park.Pictured: Southampton fans being escorted by police at Goldsmith Avenue, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

One of the items, tin foil, narrowly missed a PC's head.

Eight men were jailed for a combined total of nearly 10 years in September 2018 over running battles with police at Guildhall Square ahead of a Plymouth match in April 2017.

Judge Timothy Mousley QC, who jailed them, said: ‘Had it not been for the police there would have been a flashpoint involving about 200 men which I have no doubt was the intention on both sides.'

Back in 2015 five men were jailed for affray as Pompey and Aldershot fans clashed in the street in an FA Cup match in 2014.

Many of the men had been identified on police CCTV and police bodycam footage.

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘As with any football match our dedicated football officers will review what happened to determine any next steps.’

Asked about how the police will review its own operation, she added: ‘It is normal practice for us, as an organisation, to carry out a debrief following any large policing operation.’

Assistant constable chief Scott Chilton previously said: ‘I think the fact that we have had no reports of anyone being injured and only a few people arrested is testament to the hard work that everyone has put into this operation.’