Travelling Ipswich Town fans’ weekends ruined by ‘over cautious’ policing after 14 are forced home before game against Norwich

Around 2,000 Ipswich Town supporters traveled to Carrow Road for the match against Norwich City on S

Around 2,000 Ipswich Town supporters traveled to Carrow Road for the match against Norwich City on Sunday, March 1. - Credit: Archant

Some Ipswich Town fans have accused police in Norfolk of being heavy-handed in dealing with supporters arriving at Norwich railway station ahead of Sunday’s derby game.

But the county’s constabulary said British Transport Police turned people away because of their standard of behaviour.

The Blues lost 2-0 to their fierce rivals – but one fan has said his family lost more than £200 after they were sent home by police before they could even leave the station.

Daniel Smith, aged 18, said he and brothers Jamie (26) and Stephen (21) were taking their dad Chris, who is 51, to the game to “cheer him up” after a period of illness.

Daniel said on arrival at Norwich some fans on the train, which left Ipswich at about 9.45am, were kept behind the barrier and then told they would not be let into the city and had to go home.

“I didn’t even speak when I got off the train,” Daniel said. “There was nothing we did wrong.

“The police said if we didn’t get back on the train we would be arrested.

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“We got on the next train and left. It has really ruined our weekend, we were looking forward to the match so much.”

Mr Smith said his dad had been in trouble with the police before as a fan which could have been the reason they were told to leave, but that had happened around three decades ago.

Curtis Hurd, 54, from Purdis Farm also said previous issues could have led to him being sent back from the station but they had happened around 20 years ago.

But he added this had never stopped him attending away derby matches before.

“What annoyed me more than anything is that if we were not going to be allowed into Norwich we should have been told,” he said.

“The way we were being spoken to was like we had already caused trouble.

“I think they were being over cautious but I believe they could have gone about it better.”

In a statement released on Sunday evening Norfolk Constabulary’s match-day policing commander, chief superintendent Nick Davison, said: “Fourteen away fans were given direction to leave notices at Norwich train station as a result of their behaviour; enough to cause concern to officers who took this reactive measure in a bid to prevent disorder.”