Football thugs arrested in police raid

PUBLISHED: 10:49 19 April 2007 | UPDATED: 10:15 14 September 2010

At least 10 Ipswich Town fans who attacked Norwich City fans in a pre-arranged fight at a Suffolk train station have been arrested today as police carried out a series of early morning raids.

At least 10 Ipswich Town fans who attacked Norwich City fans in a pre-arranged fight at a Suffolk train station have been arrested today as police carried out a series of early morning raids.

About 30 police officers took part in the operation, which occurred shortly after 6.30am, at addresses in Ipswich, Stowmarket and Bedfordshire.

Twenty-five officers from the British Transport Police, assisted by Suffolk Constabulary, made the arrests only three days before Ipswich travel to Norwich for the season's second East Anglian derby at Carrow Road.

Sergeant Bob Munn, who led today's raids after a 6am briefing at Ipswich railway station, said: “Extensive investigation into this serious outbreak of disorder led to the identification of 11 suspects.

“A vast majority of these people have been arrested today in coordinated raids in Suffolk and Bedfordshire.

“The arrests are for conspiracy to cause violent disorder.

“Ten suspects have been taken to Ipswich police station. One suspect is to be taken to Dunstable police station and will then be transferred to Ipswich.

“We will be asking for bail conditions that will ban them travelling by train on any day that Ipswich Town are playing, or being within one mile of Portman Road on the day of any home game and going to any town or city where Ipswich are playing away at.”

Sgt Munn said BTP officers from as far away as London, Cambridge, Southend, Peterborough and Milton Keynes were involved in today's operation.

The raids come after as many as 17 Blues' fans were involved in a battle against Norwich supporters at Ipswich railway station on March 31.

Canaries' fans returning from their game at Colchester clashed with Blues' fans at the station who had been at home to Plymouth on the day.

Both sets of fans are believed to have pre-arranged the violence and as the 7pm train from Liverpool Street pulled into Ipswich at 8.10pm the fighting broke out.

Several people were assaulted, including railway staff. Families with young children were forced to flee the violence as rival supporters attacked each other with fists and other weapons.

The train had to make an emergency stop when Ipswich hooligans tried to get through the windows as it pulled away.

The service was delayed for 15 minutes until it was able to leave.

Police chiefs said football banning orders will be sought against anyone convicted.

However, under bail conditions it is possible new powers which came into effect this month would mean the suspects could be barred from travelling to Norwich City's ground on Sunday.

Sgt Munn said: “We would like to appeal for anybody on the train who was assaulted, or was a witness, to contact us as soon as possible.

“Such disgraceful behaviour will not be tolerated and we will do everything we can to bring the perpetrators to justice. Anyone behaving in this way can expect to be dealt with by the full weight of the law.”

t Anyone with information about the train station violence should call police on 0845 4564567.

t Were you caught up in the violence? Call Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772439 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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