Staffordshire Police have defended their actions during Port Vale’s home game against Bristol Rovers.
Rovers supporters have accused the police of heavy handed tactics including the deployment of pepper spray while following the event Bristol Rovers chairman Steve Hamer told the BBC: “You don’t go on a Saturday to watch a game of football and support your team and end up being pushed to the floor and punched and pepper sprayed – it’s something you never want to hear. We’ll do our damnedest to make sure it never happens again.”
Trained Staffordshire Police officers deployed tactics to resolve the disorder and quickly and safely gained control of the situation…
However, Staffordshire Police stated that: “During the game some 30 Bristol Rovers supporters were ejected from the ground for a variety of offences including making racially motivated insults towards stewards.
At the end of the match, following further ejections, a group of nearly 50 Bristol Rovers fans congregated in one of the car parks. A disturbance broke out between themselves and the match day stewards.
“Trained Staffordshire Police officers deployed tactics to resolve the disorder and quickly and safely gained control of the situation.”
Staffordshire Police said four arrests had been made as a result of the incidents. A 52-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of racially abusing a steward. A 23-year-old male was arrested for the assault of an official. A 52-year-old male was arrested for the assault of a police officer. One match day official was arrested for assaulting a Bristol Rovers supporters. All have been bailed.
There have been appeals for witnesses to the incident and Port Vale, Bristol Rovers and officers from Staffordshire Police will be studying CCTV images as part of an on-going investigation. Bristol Rovers said that any supporter found guilty of any racially-aggravated or violent offences would be banned.