Dramatic anti-soccer hooligan arrests

Crystal Palace FC stadium of Selhurst Park off Holmesdale Road. Pic: Google

Crystal Palace FC stadium of Selhurst Park off  Holmesdale Road.  Pic: Google

The Met Police’s anti football hooligan Operation Arrowtip intensified Saturday 27 April with two arrests from a Crystal Palace supporters’ coach in South Norwood Hill and news of a further four men being arrested and bailed in connection with the disorder at the Millwall vs Wigan Athletic FA Cup semi-final 13 April.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Barnes, head of Operation Arrowtip, said: “The MPS takes a proactive approach to preventing football related disorder and we will deal robustly with anyone who sees football as justification for violent behaviour and criminal activity.”

Crystal Palace FC Stadium. Pic: Chris Dodd

Crystal Palace FC Stadium. Pic: Chris Dodd

A few streets away from Crystal Palace’s stadium the police mounted a coach of the club’s supporters believed to be traveling to today’s game at Blackburn and made two arrests.

The coach was intercepted at 8 a.m. in South Norwood Hill, South Norwood SE25.

Junction of South Norwood Hill with Holmesdale Road leading from Crystal Palace stadium. Pic: Google

Junction of South Norwood Hill with Holmesdale Road leading from Crystal Palace stadium. Pic: Google

One man was arrested on suspicion of possessing Class A drugs. A second man was arrested under the Explosives Act for possession of pyrotechnics. The Met Police say he was also found to be in possession of a substance believed to be Class A drugs.

The men were taken to a south London police station, and kept in custody. A lock knife was seized, together with five bin-bags of beer, cider, wine and spirits. The coach did not continue on its journey and the Met Police say the driver of the coach has been reported under the Sporting Events Act (1985).

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Operation Arrowtip’s investigation into the trouble at the FA Cup semi-final between Millwall and Wigan on April 13 at Wembley stadium led to four further arrests of men aged 28, 28, 20 and 42 Friday 26 April. The Met Police say that they have been able to identify 15 of the 17 images released to the media earlier this week.

New Den in Lewisham, home to Millwall FC. Pic: ELL

New Den in Lewisham, home to Millwall FC. Pic: ELL

Arrowtip’s intelligence gathering and investigations of the violence in the Millwall supporters’ area captured on television is ongoing. 12 Millwall supporters were arrested on the day of the trouble.

One man from New Cross, Terance Cape of Goldwin Close SE14, has been bailed to appear at Hendon Magistrates Court on 1 May charged with racially aggravated threatening behaviour (Section 4 of the Public Order Act).

Detectives from Operation Arrowtip have made a total of 40 arrests in the days following the semi-final violence. Five have been cautioned and, or issued with a fixed penalty notice. Five have been released with no further action.

Detectives arrested a man, 27, at his home in Lewisham on 16 April on suspicion of theft of a police hat. He was taken to a south London police station and bailed to return in June pending further enquiries.

Operation Arrowtip- Background

Operation Arrowtip is an initiative by the Metropolitan Police “to tackle individuals and groups who commit football related criminality and disorder.”

The operation is working in partnership with the Football Association, football clubs and other police forces to tackle the problem of football related crime.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Barnes said: “We can only stamp out football disorder and criminality by working together with the clubs, the Football Association and the fans themselves.

“We have to ensure that all groups in society can go and watch football without the fear of violence or abuse. All partners are committed to this.

He added: “I would urge anyone with information about football related crime and disorder to call the investigation team on 020 8246 0076 or, if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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