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Dialogue with Greater Manchester Police

Spirit of Shankly met with Greater Manchester Police regarding policing and stewarding of supporters at our forthcoming match at Old Trafford. We raised views that members had sent to us following our request last week. A letter from Greater Manchester Police can be read below.

We would advise fans who are attending the match to print off this release and keep on their possession in the ground especially in the event of a holdback so they can show the police / stewards what has been agreed at this meeting between the police and SOS to make all LFC fans visit to Old Trafford one they can remember for all the right reasons.

As the match commander for the forthcoming Manchester United v Liverpool fixture this Sunday, I would like to offer a welcome to all Liverpool fans attending the game.

The aim is to ensure that everyone enjoys the match and the day passes off safely. Recent League fixtures at Old Trafford between United and Liverpool have passed without incident and this is something that I hope we can achieve again for this game.

Many issues experienced by fans can be overcome by effective communication and in order to build upon good relations from previous seasons, I have already met with Kieth Culvin, (Spirit of Shankly) to talk through some aspects of the policing operation on Sunday.

If any of the Liverpool fans have any questions ahead of the fixture about the policing operation, then please let Kieth know. We will be in touch in the days leading up to the match and I will do my best to provide an update. In terms of key messages, I would like all the visiting Liverpool fans to be aware of the following points:-

1. You cannot drink alcohol on the street in Manchester city centre or Trafford (the borough where the ground is) and this will be enforced around the stadium for home and away fans. Since implementing this policy it has stopped groups of supporters congregating at certain locations which created a hostile atmosphere for visiting fans and families.
2. There are no pubs in the area of the ground which cater for visiting supporters.
3. Liverpool fans will be able to get a drink in the ground - a maximum of two alcoholic drinks per visit to bar per person - it is the same policy for home fans in the East Stand. Turnstiles open at 11.30am and fans will be able to buy food and drink.
4. All drinks (including soft drinks) will be decanted and these arrangements are the same for home fans situated near to the segregation line.
5. I would like to remind all supporters that pyrotechnics are dangerous and are not welcome by the majority of fans. It is an offence to enter a stadium with such an item and those engaging in this behaviour risk arrest, prosecution and also a banning order.
6. Potentially there may well be a hold back at the end of the game – all fans will be updated about this during the game by public address announcements in the stadium. We will minimise the duration of this as far as we can but I feel it has been successful in recent league games at minimising any issues on the forecourt. During any holdback, the police will work closely with the stewards, and we will do our best to ensure that fans can access toilet facilities during any holdback. This will need to be done in a controlled manner to help regulate the numbers accessing the toilets at any one time.

As always, the TV cameras and media will be focussed on one of the biggest club fixtures in the world. I hope that supporters from both sides act in a responsible manner and enjoy the game, no matter what the result.

Superintendent James Liggett
GMP


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