Saints fans arrive at Fratton Park

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SAINTS fans have arrived at Fratton Park ahead of their derby day clash with Pompey.

More than 20 coaches full of Southampton fans have arrived at Pompey’s ground amid a huge police operation designed to keep the two sets of supporters apart.

So far the operfation appears to have been a success, with no disorder reported.

About 250 officers from Hampshire Police are involved in the operation ahead of the 1pm kick-off at Fratton Park.

Mounted police from Thames Valley have been drafted in and dog units are also on hand for the run-up to the match.

Superintendent Rick Burrows, who is leading Operation Delphin, insists its focus was public safety but warned officers that officers would not tolerate violence and disorder.

He said: ‘The whole principle of this policing operation is to seek to deny them the opportunity to get involved in disorder, to calm things down and make sure emotions don’t boil over.’

He told police officers at a briefing this morning: ‘Itsabout the safety of the fans, safety of the stewards and the safety of you lot and also the safety of members of the public who don’t want to get involved in football.’

Rodney Road, Anson Road and Specks Lanbe will be closed to the public until around 4pm today. Alverstone Road and Vernon Avenue are shut to non-residents. Residents who want to enter those roads will have to show proof of residence before they are allowed in.

Police have put up metal barriers at five points around Fratton Park which will be heavily policed in a bit to keep rival fans apart.