Police chief says safety changes were ‘fair’

Police chief says safety changes were ‘fair’

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis has told the Sentinel that he thinks that safety negotiations were tricky but fair

A recent statement from Port Vale FC revealed a number of changes to safety proceedures at the club and the police have been subject to heavy criticism both on the OVF forum and other social media platforms.

However, Ellis told the Sentinel: “The issue of policing and public safety around Port Vale matches has, I understand, always been complex. Since becoming PCC I’ve found that hasn’t changed and this season’s negotiations have also been tricky.

The police assessment of this season’s Vale fixtures has been that nine matches will require a greater policing presence in the ground…

“The operational responsibility for public order rests by law with the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police and the police assessment of this season’s Vale fixtures has been that nine matches will require a greater policing presence in the ground.

“That has to be paid for under national legislation by the club and so it is also important to secure what the police assess is required as cost effectively as possible for the club. Over the last two years I’ve brought in procedural changes to make sure that happens and also measures to make the whole process clearer, more auditable and fairer.

“As PCC I have a legal and moral obligation to ensure the cost to the tax payer of policing football matches is recovered and my priority over the last 10 weeks has been to achieve an agreement between the police and the club with regard to their safety and public order responsibilities but also in a way which is fair and equitable cost wise to the club.

“It’s been protracted but we’ve finally got there with a plan that Staffordshire Police are content with and done in a way that keeps the cost to Port Vale as low as possible.

“I’m grateful to both Staffordshire Police and Port Vale in getting to this point and I’m hopeful that having agreed safety arrangements for all the season’s League matches and a payment plan to cover the costs, football can be the focus going forwards.”

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