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MUFC v LFC Police Meeting report

Spirit of Shankly attended a meeting today along with representatives of the Greater Manchester and Merseyside Police forces as well as both Liverpool and Manchester United Football Club representatives.

The meeting had been called to address the forthcoming game at Old Trafford later this month. The purpose of the meeting was for the policing and stewarding to be explained to supporters and for all parties to discuss any issues around the fixture.
 
GMP indicated that they planned a firm but fair policing policy and that both forces had been encourage by supporter behaviour over the last few fixtures. There were currently no dispersal or specific search orders in place and as long as there were no reasons for these to be applied they were not currently planned.
 
The police will wear usual uniform and will conduct searches at the turnstiles (all bags will be searched). Additionally any cars being parked in official MUFC car parks will have their car boots checked. Pyro dogs will be in place and there will be nil tolerance for smoke bombs or flares. Arrest and prosecution for these offences are quite likely.
 
The stewards and Police will again be on the look out for abusive chanting and will step in if this is witnessed. It is possible that both managers might be asked to urge restraint upon supporters prior to to the match.
 
As far as travel is concerned all away coaches will be searched for alcohol and there will be an escort within the coach lines as they leave through Trafford Park - a proper convoy is not possible due to amount of traffic that would have to be stopped in that area.
 
Our representative asked about the movement of supporters from the ground to the coach park and the fact that this had been a potential flashpoint in the past. GMP said it was impossible to segregate at this point as the forecourt outside the away end was used extensively by both sets of supporters and so a ‘stop/go’ system would also not work.
 
They are aware that this is a potential flashpoint and while no hold back is currently planned they have said that supporters do not have to leave the ground immediately if they would wish to remain for a short while in their seats and that there will be announcement made within the ground when the outside concourse has cleared. Our representative said that this was unlikely to be too popular due to supporters being concerned about leaving in smaller groups.
 
There is an alcohol ban on the street of Manchester but the offence is to not stop drinking when asked to do so - GMP will apply common sense and ask for someone to stop or finish their drink normally but these directions have to be followed. There will be alcohol on sale in the ground with a limit of the purchase of two drinks per person. Drinks will be decanted from bottles and cans.
 
There will be 25 Liverpool FC stewards on duty both inside and outside the ground assisting the MUFC stewards.
 
GMP wish both sets of supporters an enjoyable experience.
 
Spirit of Shankly would be happy to receive any feedback about the policing and stewarding after the game has taken place but if there are any issues to be raised then please email secretary@spiritofshankly.com


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