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Police praise Man City and United fans

Tuesday, May 1st 2012 08:06

Only 31 arrests made during derby

All eyes were on Manchester last night for the much-anticipated derby match between Manchester City and Manchester United.

The match, which was unsurprisingly a sell-out, was watched by around 47,000 fans at the Etihad Stadium. Thousands more watched from screens in pubs in the city centre and surrounding towns and millions more watched from their homes.

Twenty-eight people were arrested in the city centre and at or near the football ground, for mainly minor drink-related and public order offences.

There were no serious incidents of disorder and no reports of any trouble taking place in other areas in Greater Manchester in relation to the derby.

Anyone found with alcohol on the streets within the alcohol exclusion zone, stretching from the city centre to the stadium, had it confiscated. In addition, anyone who arrived at the stadium under the influence of excess alcohol was refused entry.

Chief Superintendent John O’Hare, commander for the derby policing operation said: "With so much resting on tonight’s game, this derby was always going to be an exciting match with emotions running high.

"Thousands of people were out in the city and towns across Greater Manchester tonight to soak up the atmosphere and I must praise the behaviour of the supporters from both sides. Their conduct was exemplary and they enjoyed this fixture in the true spirit of the game.

"We had a lot of extra officers working throughout the day, supported by partner agencies, to ensure this match was an enjoyable experience for all football fans and I am pleased to say there were only a relatively small number of arrests.

"Officers were out on the streets speaking with fans and joining in the atmosphere, while at the same time looking out for any potential troublemakers who were looking to spoil the evening for the vast majority. This helped set the tone for the day.

"Anyone who was arrested tonight can be assured that we will clamp down hard on them. We work closely with both Manchester United and Manchester City, who are supportive of that fact that anyone arrested in connection with causing trouble at the derby runs the risk of being banned from entering their respective club again in the future.

"Our policing operation will now continue into the night in and around Manchester city centre.

"Tonight the city of Manchester was remembered for all the right reasons and we can all celebrate the fact that the Premier League title is coming to Manchester."

Councillor Jim Battle, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said:

"With the eyes of the world on Manchester, two great teams showcased our great city at its very, very best.

"I'd like to praise both sets of fans for their excellent behaviour and thank the police for their well-planned operation."

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