Cleveland Police condemn 'significant violent disorder' after making eight arrests following Hartlepool United's National League match with York City
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At least six of those detained are from the North Yorkshire area with a lengthy statement from Cleveland Police revealing how “a large crowd of York City supporters” appeared to charge at Pools fans in the town centre.
The force described this misbehaviour as “something which would have been extremely intimidating and terrifying for members of the public to see”.
But they have also thanked “the majority of fans who attended and enjoyed the game in a safe and responsible manner”.
A police spokesperson said on Monday evening: “Eight people were arrested by Cleveland Police after significant violent disorder followed the Hartlepool United FC and York City FC match on Saturday, 27th January, 2024.
“It became apparent from the beginning of the event that there were a minority of people who were intent on causing disorder as officers were faced with confrontational and aggressive behaviour.
“During the game there were a number of incidents including three flares thrown in the stadium and a coin thrown at the Hartlepool goalkeeper.
“Arrangements had been put in place to keep fans from opposing clubs separated.
"However, these arrangements were not observed by a number of York City fans, some of whom were wearing face coverings.
“Officers were then faced with a large crowd of York City supporters in Hartlepool town centre who appear to have charged towards Hartlepool United fans in the town.
“Something which would have been extremely intimidating and terrifying for members of the public to see.
“Cleveland Police Officers then worked with officers from British Transport Police at the train station to ensure the York City fans boarded the train without further disorder.
“The officers deployed to this policing operation are experienced officers who specialise in football liaison events.
"Those officers rightly used a number of tactics to prevent further violences occurring and to protect members of the public from harm.
“Cleveland Police would welcome any discussion with York City Football Club around Saturday’s events and how this type of violent behaviour and offending can be prevented in the future, in order to keep the public safe.
“Officers thank the majority of fans who attended and enjoyed the game in a safe and responsible manner”.
The eight people arrested are aged between and 21.
Five have been bailed pending further inquiries while a 20-year-old man has been charged with being drunk while trying to enter a football ground, an 18-year-old man has been charged with a public order offence and an 18-year-old man has been charged with being drunk and disorderly.
York City added in their own statement: “We strongly condemn any form of violence, in any setting, from anybody.
“Further steps are now set to be taken to fully investigate Saturday afternoon, ensuring that the right measures are in place for the future.
“The football club will make no further comment at this stage until it has met with key personnel.”