Over 40 arrests in soccer crowd violence inquiry

Millwall FC The New Den

Millwall FC The New Den

The Metropolitan Police inquiry into violent disorder by fans in the Millwall supporters area of the Wembley FA Cup semi-final with Wigan on 13 April has resulted in over 40 arrests and ‘Operation Arrowtip’ continues to release CCTV images to identify people detectives would like to interview.

Television footage of Millwall fans attacking police and fighting among themselves inside and outside the stadium were broadcast on television and captured on the stadium’s CCTV surveillance system. Images extracted have led to the identification of 29 people up until 30 April.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Barnes, who is leading the investigation, said he was pleased with the response shown by the public: “We have had had an excellent response from the public after last week. The investigation team is working through many more calls and analysing CCTV footage to identify all those involved in the disorder. We expect to make further arrests.”

The Met Police are finding that release of the images is proving a very effective method of identification with many people ‘handing themselves in.’ The majority of those identified and arrested have been ‘bailed to return’ and three people have been charged.

DCI Barnes emphasized: “Any disorder at football matches is completely unacceptable. People attending matches expect to be able to do so in a safe and friendly environment. Our message is clear- violence at football is unacceptable. If you were involved in the violence come forward and speak with us. We will pursue all those responsible.”

Operation Arrowtip investigates potential soccer crowd disorder throughout London and the Met Police announced that their interception of a Crystal Palace supporters’ coach on Saturday, 27 April, in South Norwood has led to one man arrested on suspicion of possessing Class A drugs being given a caution.

A second man arrested under the Explosives Act for possession of pyrotechnics, and found to be in possession of a substance believed to be Class A drugs, has been bailed to return on a date in late July pending further enquiries.

Officers from Operation Arrowtip encourage anyone with information to contact the investigation team on 020 8246 0076 during office hours or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they wish to remain anonymous.

Coincidentally Millwall were at home to Crystal Palace and played out a goalless draw at the New Den Tuesday night 30 April. The result means that both teams only need one point each on the final day of the season to secure Millwall’s safety from regulation and ensure Palace’s place in the Championship play-offs.

Update May 7 2013

East London Lines has removed images of people caught on CCTV that the Metropolitan Police had asked to be distributed by the media at their request on the basis that people had either come forward, been identified or been exonerated of any involvement in violent disorder.

The Met Police wished to emphasize that the men featured in images numbered 119625 and 119625 were “not involved in criminality” and have not been arrested.

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