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Six arrests after football derby
9:10pm Sunday 7th March 2010 in News
POLICE made just six arrests after more than 10,000 fans flocked to the County Ground for a high tension derby match with Bristol Rovers.
The Swindon Town game had been moved to a 1pm kick-off to ensure trouble didn’t erupt between rival fans on Saturday.
Officers frog-marched up to 1,000 Rovers fans from the train station to the game and back afterwards to keep the peace.
Arrests were made for public order offences, police said. Several were made outside the stadium and a few were taken into custody for being drunk and disorderly in the town centre. One Rovers fans was arrested for breaking out of the police circuit.
Police horses and sniffer dogs were called up for the game, while extra officers were drafted in from all over Wiltshire. The police’s helicopter also hovered overhead to keep track of any violence.
Last night PC Jim Neighbour, Swindon Police’s football liaison officer, said: “This was a derby match and the risk is always there.
“It was fairly good natured throughout the game despite the 4-0 result going against Swindon.
“The six arrests were for public order and drink offences. One fan also tried to break the police circuit and was led away.
“Overall for a game of this sort I was pleased with the successful operation.”
In previous meetings between the two West Country sides trouble has flared between fans. Supporters brawled on the streets and during a match seats were ripped out and used as missiles in December 2006.
A gang of 20 hooligans armed with baseball bats attacked about six Swindon Town fans before the team’s tie with Rovers in April 2007.
The unprovoked violence took place at the Inn On The Green pub in Horfield, Bristol, as Town fans gathered before the pre-season friendly.
Twelve arrests were also made by police after trouble erupted before a derby in November 2007.