28 arrests to minimise disorder at Birmingham football derby


Soccer - FA Cup - Sixth Round - Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion - Villa Park
A total of 28 men were arrested during a police operation to minimise disorder during Birmingham's first football derby for more than four years.

West Midlands Police said eleven suspects were detained after an affray near a pub before the League Cup fixture involving Aston Villa and Birmingham City on Tuesday.

Officers have also charged a fan with invading the pitch, while four men were arrested by British Transport Police on suspicion of assault, breaching a banning order and public order offences.

The policing plan for the match, which Villa won 1-0, aimed to prevent "cross-over" between rival supporters travelling to and from Villa Park.

Chief Superintendent Steve Graham said: "This was always going to be a challenging fixture for us with the history between Aston Villa and Birmingham City and the fact they hadn't faced each other in some time.

"It is of course disappointing that any disorder broke out during the course of the evening and we reacted quickly to arrest several people in connection with the damage caused to the Manor Tavern pub.

"However the aim of our operation was to engage with fans in the city centre and in the vicinity of the ground to ensure supporters were able to enjoy the evening in safety.

"We had put together a significant policing plan which was based on intelligence gathered before the game and I'm pleased that the vast majority of fans behaved well and contributed to an excellent atmosphere at the match."