Tuesday, January 19

Police issue advice ahead of tonight's match

Greater Manchester Police is preparing for the derby match between Manchester City and Manchester United tonight.

The first leg of the Carling Cup tie will take place at the City of Manchester Stadium and the Force has been planning for several weeks to ensure the fixture is a safe and enjoyable occasion for the tens of thousands of fans expected to watch the game at the stadium and in pubs across Greater Manchester.

A key part of GMP's operation is to deter the minority of people who go to the game to cause trouble, and respond to any incidents of disorder or anti-social behaviour quickly and efficiently.

Officers will be positioned around the ground to interact with fans attending at the stadium and there will also be a significant police presence in the city centre, with officers visiting pubs where the match is being shown live on TV.

With tens of thousands of fans expected both at the stadium and at pubs across Greater Manchester, traffic delays are unavoidable and while GMP will be working hard to minimise disruption and ensure traffic flow, fans are advised to give themselves plenty of time to make their way to the ground.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, Gold commander for the fixture, said: "The derby is always highly anticipated by both sets of fans and our aim is to help make the occasion a safe and enjoyable one.

"This particular game is not only a Manchester derby, but the semi-final of the Carling Cup, meaning that no matter what, there will be a representative of Manchester at Wembley for the final.

"As one of the host cities for the 2018 World Cup bid, this truly is a great day for Manchester to shine and we would ask that fans play their part by behaving sensibly and do the city proud.

"Yes there is going to be banter between the fans, but it’s when that banter turns into aggressive and violent behaviour that the city of Manchester will suffer.

"I would like to stress that although the rivalry has always been there between the fans, previous derby matches have passed off largely peacefully and without major incident.

"Of the tens of thousands of fans who will be watching the game both at the ground and in licensed premises, it is only a small minority who cause trouble and try and spoil it for everyone, and we will not hesitate to make arrests of troublemakers."

"Greater Manchester Police is very experienced at policing football matches and this game will be no exception.
"We will have the appropriate number of officers and resources within the ground and the surrounding areas to both deal with any incidents and offer reassurance to the public."

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