Suffolk Constabulary are appealing to both Ipswich and Arsenal supporters to enjoy the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final, which is due to take place on Wednesday 12th January 2011 and to have fun, but to behave respectfully and responsibly. 

The turnstiles and stadium bars will be open from 6.15pm and kick off is at 7.45pm.  Alcohol will not be available to away fans after kick off.  This fixture will be broadcast live on Sky.

Superintendent David Skevington will be overseeing the policing operation, which will involve almost 100 officers from Suffolk Constabulary and the British Transport Police. 

He commented: “This will be an exciting game for both teams especially as it is a decade since Ipswich Town played in the semi-final in this league cup (last occasion was Worthington Cup v Birmingham City on 9th January 2001) and it is almost nine years since they played Arsenal at home (April 2002).  We hope that people celebrate the match sensibly and in the right spirit.  We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour, violence, racial chanting, mindless vandalism or any alcohol fuelled disorder.   We will continue our use of firm but fair policing to ensure the safety of those attending the game and those members of the public wishing to go about their normal business.”

The public is asked to be prepared for crowd, rail and traffic congestion, and disruption on the day and to allow extra time for their journey.  Car sharing and the use of public transport are advisable.

Portman Road may be inaccessible to home fans and the public for a short time after the game to facilitate the escort of away fans to their transport.  Police encourage supporters to clear the area ASAP so they can continue with the policing operation.

The tactics used may result in some minor delays and may restrict movement in the vicinity of the ground but both sets of fans are asked to be patient as they are aimed at ensuring everyone’s safety.

Proactive enforcement will include the use of ‘Direction to Leave’ notices under Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006.  This power allows officers to serve a notice on any person they feel may cause ‘alcohol related violence.  The person can be banned from a venue or even the whole town for up to 48 hours, and if they refuse to leave the area or return during this time they can be arrested.

Superintendent Skevington added, “We will use legislation available to us to prevent incidents escalating and maintain public safety by keeping those intent on disorder from the town. “

Those attending this match by coach or train are reminded that it is an offence under the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol) Act 1985 to carry or possess alcohol on coaches or trains being used for the principle purpose of carrying passengers for the whole or part of a journey to or from a designated sporting event.  A person who knowingly causes or permits alcohol to be carried on a coach or train or who is drunk on a coach or train is also guilty of an offence.  Police have a stop and search power under the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol) Act 1985 and will seize any alcohol located on the coaches, trains, or persons in order to reduce the potential for public order problems.

PC Marc Norman – Football Intelligence Officer said, “Our message is simple; enjoy the game, stay onside and don’t spoil it for others.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 10 Jan 2011