87 released in match violence probe
Published 17/03/2013 | 11:21
More than 80 people arrested in the build-up to a non-league football match have been released on bail.
Inspector Darren Webster, of Warwickshire Police, said 87 people had now been released on police bail while inquiries continue.
The arrests were in connection with an incident of "violent disorder" ahead of a fixture between home side Nuneaton Town and Lincoln City on Saturday afternoon.
Nuneaton Town chief executive Ian Neale said the trouble was nothing to do with the football club or its supporters.
Mr Webster said: "Everyone has now been bailed in connection with the incident. The senior investigating officer will now evaluate what action needs to be taken."
Riot police from three forces and the British Transport Police were called to deal with reports of trouble at several pubs in Nuneaton shortly before 10.30am on Saturday.
Officers from Warwickshire, West Mercia and West Midlands Police forces then began arresting dozens of people on suspicion of violent disorder at The Granby pub in the town centre from 3.20pm.
Chief Inspector Adrian Knight, in charge of the policing operation, said it had been "a particularly challenging day". "Police officers responded to reports of disorder at a number of public houses in the town and were deployed in full protective equipment for their own safety," he said. "It was important to take a positive approach from the start of the operation and, as a result of that, a significant number of people have been arrested for serious offences and will now be processed." He added police would not tolerate behaviour which risked the public's safety.
Mr Neale said police went to The Granby pub to organise an escort to town for Nuneaton fans but only three people said they were interested in going to the match. He said: "They were allowed to leave the pub to take a taxi to the ground, which is two miles away from where the arrests were made. The Boro is a family club and people who are looking for trouble are not welcome at our ground. Anyone found guilty of any offences today will be banned from the ground for life."
Mr Neale added: "The club works tremendously hard on community programmes to give young people locally aspiration and opportunities in a working-class town, and we see ourselves very much part of making positive things happen for the town." Nuneaton went on to win the Blue Square Bet Premier League fixture 1-0.