Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Seven held after Luton-Millwall tie

Police arrested seven men for public order offences at the FA Cup fixture between Luton Town and Millwall

There was "a short stand-off" between football fans and police after the outcome of a widely-anticipated cup tie.

Bedfordshire Police led a large operation surrounding the FA Cup 5th round fixture between Luton Town and Millwall, with officers from six forces involved.

Police said a "small minority" of people had caused trouble despite most supporters enjoying the action on the pitch.

The police were primed for possible trouble with 300 officers on duty, as a previous cup tie between the sides descended into violence in 1985 - an event which became known as the Kenilworth Road Riot, after the ground where Luton play.

In total, seven men were arrested for public order offences. Three were arrested before the game - one for breach of a court order and another for affray inside the ground after stewards ejected him from the crowd.

The other arrests were made after the fixture ended in a 3-0 victory for the visitors Millwall, when "a minority of fans" gathered in the Dudley Street and George Street areas for a stand-off with officers, said police.

One man was detained for throwing a bottle at a police horse. All the arrested men remain in custody.

Superintendent Linda Kelly, Bedfordshire Police tactical commander, said: "I have been pleased with the way today's policing operation has gone. It was an excellent partnership between ourselves, the clubs, the other forces and agencies.

"It is a shame a small minority behaved badly after the game but the vast majority of fans enjoyed the occasion despite the result on the field and went away without causing any problems. There will be a debrief and any people we identify who did cause problems we will look to arrest at a later time."

Together with Bedfordshire, officers from Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire police forces, the Metropolitan Police Service, mounted officers from Thames Valley Police and British Transport Police were involved in policing the fixture and ensuring Millwall fans travelled safely.

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