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'Don't serve drunken fans' - police's warning to pubs
1:00pm Sunday 17th March 2013 in News
Pubs have been warned not to serve drunk football fans ahead of Sunday’s clash between Albion and Crystal Palace.
Sussex Police also revealed rivals fans would only be held back inside the Amex at the end of this weekend’s derby if there is an “imminent threat” of disorder.
The police and Brighton and Hove Albion decided not to hold fans back at the end of the grudge game even though some fans asked about the possibility. Chief Inspector Paul Betts, who will be match commander on the day, said any message to hold fans back will be relayed through social media and the stadium’s public address systems.
Chief Insp Betts said officers had also been visiting licenced premises in the city to remind them of their responsibilities not to serve drunks.
The game has been moved to a noon kick-off in a bid to reduce the risk of alcohol- fuelled violence breaking out, although some pubs in West Street will open at 8am on the morning.
Updated figures from Sussex Police revealed that at the last home Palace fixture 35 arrests were made, including 11 on the day at the ground.
Nine fans were cautioned and no further action was taken in five cases.
Chief Insp Betts said: “Rivalry and passion are all part of football but when that descends into hatred and violence then we will deal with that. “There will be a bigger police presence in the city but we certainly don’t want people to stay away from the city and we still will be able to respond to 999 calls which won’t be impacted by football on the day.”
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