Revealed: The cost of policing at Ipswich Town
PUBLISHED: 15:32 27 July 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
It's the biggest day on the East Anglian football calendar - and the Ipswich Town vs Norwich City match is also an expensive one.
In figures released in a Freedom of Information request, it was found that the meetings between the 'Pride of Anglia' contenders cost more than £60,000 to police.
When requiring additional policing, clubs are charged by constabularies to pay for services in the stadium's vicinity, although the sums paid do not always truly reflect the costs to forces police.
Following Town's home game against Norwich in September 2018, the club were handed a bill of £34,457 - a staggering £20,000 more than the bill they were landed after their match against Sheffield Wednesday.
However, the greatest bill of all came when they played their final game against Leeds, when policing cost a staggering £39,001.
Not included in the figures are the costs of policing the surrounding area, operational and duty planning, and administration - which make the true cost even higher.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk police and crime commissioner, said: "The prominent issue is to make sure fans are safe and secure and can enjoy the match - that's for fans of all ages.
"In the past we had big trouble with safety at football matches, so it is important we keep people safe."
Mr Passmore defended the need for heavy police presences at football matches, especially a derby, but admitted is a shame there is a need.
"Ipswich is a county club - it is a part of who we are - so it is a great shame there is a senseless and mindless minority - there is never an excuse for violence, misbehaviour or obscene chanting."
However, he believes clubs should foot the whole bill.
Mr Passmore added: "I think the football industry should be paying for these things in their entirety, pulling in resources can cost a lot of money."
A spokesman for the club said: "Ipswich Town fans are among the best behaved in the country - home and away - and the facts show that Portman Road is regarded as a very safe place to watch football.
"Most of our games are police free but on police and safety advice, there are occasions where police are needed inside the stadium. Norwich, being a derby game and all the rivalry that goes with it and Leeds, with the large following they bring, are two examples.
"Safety of spectators at the stadium always has been and always will remain a priority for the Football Club, regardless of cost."