Spirit of Shankly attended a meeting with LFC and EFC Club officials, a representative of the Blue Union and Merseyside Police on the 4th December to discuss the policing and stewarding for this weekend’s derby.
For Liverpool supporters as is usual there is less to consider than when we have the away derby but the headlines overall at the meeting where as follows:
- Missile throwing remains a high priority to discourage – the memory of one of our supporters getting a serious eye injury a couple of year’s ago at Manchester City remains fresh – as an aside EFC now deploy netting between the away supporters and the Park End at Goodison;
- All away supports are likely to be searched and recently the searches of home supporters has been increased to about 50% to 60% of those attending – this needs to be kept in mind as kick off approaches;
- Pyrotechnics remain a priority and it is clear that recently the police at both Anfield (and away grounds) have been getting a better strike rate and identifying those who have deployed flares etc. According to Merseyside Poice three flares at the recent Brighton game resulted in all three people setting them off being arrested – this seems to be down to much better CCTV in all PL grounds;
- Alcohol will be on sale;
- Abusive chanting will continue to be monitored – the SOS representative did say that until those identified were addressed publicly that there seemed to be little incentive for supporters to avoid anything unsavoury:
- Police will monitor an anticipated walk up across Stanley Park as usual and also the significant number of EFC supporters who refuse to enter Anfield until YNWA has been completed and usually miss the first couple of minutes of the match
Overall Merseyside Police say that the derby fixtures are on a downward trajectory as far as their risk category is concerned but they will remain vigilant.