An official statement has been issued –
Good afternoon folks,
We have received several comments and questions on social media about our policing response to the Blackpool v Preston North End football match yesterday (Saturday) so we wanted to respond.
Assistant Chief Constable Pete Lawson said this:
“Planning for the game had been taking place for several weeks and as always the priority throughout was the safety of those attending.
“We appreciate that the majority of people simply want to enjoy their day and have no interest in causing trouble. However there was a minority of supporters who were actively looking for opportunities to start violent confrontations with opposing fans, but thankfully having robust resources in place ensured this was prevented before, during and after the game.
“We appreciate that many people may have felt inconvenienced by aspects of the operation – being directed to take a slightly longer route back to their car park, for example. However we wish to make clear that our actions were carefully planned and decisions such as these were taken to ensure that those people who were intent on causing trouble were unable to come into contact with other similar groups or individuals, which would also have put innocent members of the public at risk.
“We would like to thank supporters for their understanding. Although a minority of people attended without peaceful intentions, the operation finished with no injuries and only a small number of arrests for alcohol-related and public order offences.
“We now plan to look into those isolated incidents of disorder and will deal with those involved over the coming days and weeks.”