CRYSTAL Palace fans have accused Sussex Police officers of beating them with batons and “kettling” at last year’s explosive clash with Albion.

In a 23-point letter from solicitors on behalf of the club’s supporters’ trust, it is alleged constables were “aggressive” and struck away fans with batons before the match at the Amex on November 28.

Crystal Palace Supporters’ Trust lodged an official complaint against Sussex Police on Tuesday, questioning the ethics of Superintendent Simon Nelson, who was the matchday commander, and his team.

Officers are accused of “kettling” a group of around 30 travelling fans in Brighton city centre in the afternoon.

The complaint, which comes ahead of Saturday’s third meeting of the season between the arch rivals, says the supporters were shepherded by officers from Brighton Station to West Street and then Buddies Bar in Kings Road.

CPST said fans were not aggressive but police became hostile later in the day.

As the group of around 300 supporters was being escorted to the station to travel to the Amex for the 7.45pm kick-off, officers were “rude, aggressive, and used force against people in an untargeted fashion”.

When the group was halted, they “jostled” with constables who “responded by drawing batons and on occasions using them against whoever was closest, including strikes to the head”.

At the Amex, Albion stewards closed turnstiles soon after kick-off to stop away fans without tickets entering.

Many Palace supporters were then held on the bridge at nearby Falmer Station by police.

According to the complaint, one fan in the herd outside the ground was told to urinate against a wall by an officer because there were no toilet facilities.

Both sets of supporters clashed at Brighton Station and outside the Amex, with flares being set off inside and outside the ground and Palace fans breaking through turnstiles to get in.

Supt Nelson, who has been promoted from Chief Inspector since the game, told the press and public that weapons, including knives and knuckledusters, had been recovered from away fans, only for this to be proved false eight days later with no evidence to back up the statement.

Since the fixture, he has refused to speak to The Argus about it, once putting the phone down on us.

Sussex Police has rejected numerous requests by this newspaper for an interview with Supt Nelson or another senior officer on the matter.

The complaint, of which there are two aspects, is against the overall policing operation and individual officers including Supt Nelson.

It claims the actions of officers on the night of the 0-0 draw breaches the College of Policing’s Code of Ethics, citing the excerpt:“I will be diligent in the exercise of my duties and responsibilities”.

A statement from the CPST called for the officers involved to be disciplined.

It said: “The CPST request that the failures as outlined are investigated thoroughly and that those officers responsible for these foreseeable failures are appropriately disciplined.

“There has never been a public explanation for the source of the incorrect information promulgated by Supt Nelson both in the press release and then in his tweets.

“It is unacceptable for an officer, and a senior officer no less, to put forward very serious allegations without evidence to back them up.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Our Professional Standards Department are assessing the complaint in order to determine how it will be investigated.

“We have already apologised to both clubs and the supporters about some information published that was not correct.”