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Derby day advice

Police have outlined their strategy for ensuring the Manchester derby passes off peacefully.

Officers from GMP met with representatives of Manchester City and
Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium earlier today to discuss matchday arrangements.

At the meeting was Dale Haslam, redsaway.com editor, who was also there in his capacity as Manchester United Supporters’ Trust committee member with responsibility for away match ticket issues and related matters.

Here is what fans can expect on matchday.

The day before the match

Police officers will be patrolling the area immediately around the stadium, particularly on the lookout for anyone daubing graffiti at prominent locations.

There will also be extra security staff patrolling the stadium perimeter.

Officers were keen to stress they have no particular intelligence that graffiti will be daubed on buildings in the area, but there have been instances in years gone by to justify the action.

Before the match

Throughout the day, all officers will have collar numbers clearly displayed, so fans can note it down should there be any complaint.

City centre officers will wear normal police uniform.

All city centre bars will be open as usual, though they will be asked to not use glass containers and will be asked to remove seats, tables and other furniture from the streets.

All bars near the stadium will be home fans only.

Tickets are fitted with a chip, which could be wiped of its data if you put it too close to a mobile phone or a microwave or if you bend it.

Getting to the ground

This is the first year fans have been able to get the Metrolink from Piccadilly to the stadium.

Reds will be able to use the Metrolink to get to the ground, though police will be positioned at city centre stations monitoring behaviour.

Officers will only board trams if they suspect any anti-social behaviour could occur.

Reds travelling to the game are encouraged to use the Velopark Station, as fewer home fans use it and the away-end entrance is just as close as the Etihad Campus Station.

Police are happy for people to travel on coaches and minibus to the stadium and these vehicles will get away from the stadium quite quickly afterwards.

Community officers will be on patrol around the Beswick Estate to deal with issues such as parking problems and vehicles blocking entry points.

At the stadium

At the turnstiles, there is likely to be a member of United staff there to help with any ticketing issues.

For example if a valid ticket does not work at the turnstile, the member of staff may be able to establish it is a genuine ticket. However, this is not confirmed at this stage.

City and other clubs are cracking down on the use of flares and smokebombs in and around stadia.
They will have sniffer dogs searching fans at turnstiles and urge fans to allow plenty of time to get into the stadium.

In the concourse, the United Review season 2012/13 DVD will be playing on a loop throughout the afternoon.

Alcohol will be on sale in the stadium, though City reserve the right to close the bar if there is anti-social behaviour.

During the game

Officers will be wearing protective glasses, as coins have been thrown in previous years. They will also be wearing ‘overalls’ but NOT riot gear.

Immediately after goals and after “highly charged incidents” police will be using handheld cameras to film fans in both the home end and the away end.

This is mainly aimed at catching people with flares and smoke bombs, as well as those throwing coins.

(The police report from last year’s game strongly suggests City fans were mostly to blame for coin throwing at last year’s league game).

After the game

Police will not hold fans back unless there is a need to (i.e. an incident during the game which could lead to anti-social behaviour.

Fans will be able to use the toilet during any hold back.

Police are advising reds not to use the Metrolink after the game, as the queue as Velopark Station will be closed (it cannot take a high volume of people all at once) and the Etihad Campus stop will be so crowded that it would be much quicker to get back into the city centre on foot or by bus.

Extra police will patrol the Beswick Estate.

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19 comments to Derby day advice

  • Will

    Could be alot of reds not getting in if their phone cancels their ticket!!

  • tony

    Who is the committee member

  • Neil

    What’s the parking situation like? Assume residential areas are permit but there will be unofficial around the ground for a fiver?

  • Luke

    Have the tickets been posted out yet, as mine aren’t going to my address?
    Thanks in advance.

  • vitty

    Tony – I am. I’m both the editor and the committee member.

  • Charlie

    Neil, you can park unofficially in a few spots although I would not recommend it.

  • jc

    Not received my one yet Luke has anyone?

  • Gez

    Mines arrived, either Saturday or Sunday

  • John

    I hope there are more than a couple of flares /smoke bombs there
    The policing is getting ridiculous

  • jc

    Surely not sunday Gez as there is no post that day, my one did arrive on Saturday.

  • Will

    John, you may think they are harmless but all they do is reduce our allocations. Plus every team seems to be letting of smoke bombs at the moment, the whole thing is getting very boring and repetative as a spectacle.

  • Oli

    John, I wish flares were allowed, but they’re not, and I personally think getting a full allocation for our support is more important than a few 14 year olds lobbing smoke bombs. Hoping as many of our fans break the law as possible really isn’t productive.

  • Mathís

    That not the point guys we need to stand up against modern football because it going too far Germany has no problems with flares or even ultras so we shouldn’t instead most of you will moan there is no atmosphere and you wish it was like Germany,Italy and Poland yet would rather just accept that laws don’t change

  • Mathís

    And if a lot of fans did it they would get sick of it and change the laws or not be as strict

  • Oli

    Mathis, that’s complete shit. You change laws by winning arguments and moving with the times – not by breaking the law repeatly and lobbing 3000 flares every week to make a point until the other side agree with you. look HOW German football achieved its atmopsheres and standing sections, it was not by going to war with the authorities and setting fire to stadia. Moronic.

  • w3103

    leave the flares at home and lets do our talking on the pitch.

  • Higgo

    Definitely not the way to go Mathis. That sort of approach will lead to exactly the opposite of what you are trying to achieve and you will probably end up with a football banning order for your troubles.

  • nick

    Thought are fans were world class today in the away stayed till the end everyone singing there hearts out kept the boys going I know we got beat but the score line could of.been been bigger keep the red flag flying high

  • Higgo

    I agree Nick.

    My derby day advice – don’t play Ashley Young!