Police happy after testing match

IPSWICH: While proving a much-needed win for Roy Keane’s team, Saturday’s match against Millwall was today heralded as a success in terms of crowd safety after just three arrests were made.

As a category C fixture, the game required 140 officers in and around Portman Road and at key locations nearby in the town as well as a small army of stewards, bringing the security presence up to about 400 people.

“It’s been very, very well handled by all,” said Ipswich Town club secretary Sally Webb.

“We have had officers from the Metropolitan Police here as well as our own (Suffolk) police force.

“The level of police presence was correct. Everything has worked very well – people worked hard and it’s been a very busy game.”

She said “one or two” Millwall fans and about the same number of home supporters had “misbehaved” during the 2-0 win, but overall everyone had been “fine”.

She added: “We had some very experienced people in watching CCTV cameras and it was ‘all hands on deck’ and it worked very well.

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“Our safety officer will have a debrief with police after the weekend where they will discuss any issues and I will be working towards the next game.”

She said the people “misbehaving” had mostly been caught consuming alcohol inside the football arena – something which has been banned for years. Police confirmed that eight people had been ejected.

She said: “But that sort of thing happens in every stadium. I think that people just understand that we treat them fairly here and it’s not a hostile stadium or a hostile environment.

“(If you were looking to cause trouble) you have only got to see the amount of police presence and you would change your mind, once you see how organised they are.”

Superintendent David Skevington said the day’s police operation had started at about 10am and ran through until midnight and had been a big success.

He said: “We’re really pleased with how Saturday went. I put it down to good policing and good working relationships with the club.”

n Did you come across any trouble at the game? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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