Police hope derby match will be a special occasion
Police are urging Bristol Rovers and Bristol City fans to make Wednesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game a “super sporting occasion” for the city.
It will be the first official game between the two teams since 2007 although the sides did take part in a testimonial game last autumn.
That fixture went off without any serious incidents and only a handful of arrests for public disorder incidents.
Avon and Somerset Police’s Chief Superintendent Caroline Peters, who is silver commander for the game, said: “We want everyone to build on the atmosphere of last year’s game. It is a wonderful opportunity for a major sporting occasion, bringing the city’s two football clubs together, in what we hope will be a great sporting spectacle for the city.
“The police operation for the match will be intelligence-led. We want to minimise disruption to members of the public, local businesses and those visiting the city. There will be high-profile reassurance patrols with officers offering advice and guidance to members of the public.
But she stressed the police would not tolerate any football-related disorder.
“There is inevitably a small proportion who will try to spoil the enjoyment for the majority but we will operate a zero-tolerance approach to the game and robustly tackle any football-related anti-social behaviour or violence,” said C/Supt Peters.
Fans who are arrested, risk prosecution, a criminal record and possible jail sentence but they could also find themselves subject to a football banning order, which can be imposed for up to 10 years. They may also face a ban from travelling abroad when England football matches are being played overseas.
They are also reminded that if they are found in possession of fireworks of flares they could be arrested and face prison as well as ending up with a football banning order.
The match on Wednesday is all-ticket and no tickets will be on sale on the day of the game. Anyone without a ticket should not attend the stadium on the day of the match.