Commissioner praises Staffordshire Police officers following football clash

The Staffordshire Commissioner has praised officers from Staffordshire Police for their handling of the Potteries derby between Port Vale and Stoke City’s Under-21s.

Considerable damage was caused to Vale Park’s away end during the Checkatrade Trophy tie – the first meeting between the clubs since 2002.

The Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime, Matthew Ellis said: ‘While the majority of football supporters are there to enjoy the match it is unfortunate a minority attend to simply cause disruption and damage to property.

‘I would like to praise and commend Staffordshire Police for their handling of what was clearly a very incendiary and volatile situation.

‘The behaviour by some individuals at the game was deplorable. Mindless violence and destruction does nothing for the reputation of football and puts members of the public and emergency services at risk.

‘This pointless behaviour costs the public purse significant amounts of money, not least to deal with a small number of individuals who have no regard for safety or community.

‘This sort of behaviour needs to reignite the conversation about what football clubs pay for in terms of policing versus what the public pay.’

Seats, toilets and windows were damaged inside the stadium, with 11 arrests made in what Chief Superintendent Wayne Jones described as ‘despicable behaviour by a large number of fans’.

More than 150 officers were deployed, with a mixture of public order, tactical, dog support and response officers attending.

Stoke City have stated that anyone found guilty of disorder would be given a ‘lengthy’ banning order.

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