Witness appeal following disorder involving football fans in Swindon

By Ben Fitzgerald - 4 February 2020

Crime

Police are appealing for witnesses after a minority of football fans caused disorder during the Swindon Town game at the weekend.

The match between Swindon Town FC and Exeter City FC took place at the County Ground on Saturday afternoon (1/2).

Despite the vast majority of the 13,000 fans in attendance enjoying the game responsibly and peacefully, there were a small number of people who caused trouble.

At around 2pm there was a large disorder in Manchester Road, near to the Tap and Barrel pub. 

Police had to keep rival fan groups apart in Manchester Road and into Salisbury Street and, unfortunately, this did involve disruption to transport in the area and residents may have witnessed this disorder. 

A Special Constable was injured by a glass bottle thrown as a missile, but thankfully she suffered no lasting injury.

Following the full-time whistle there was also pockets of disorder in County Road and Station Road. 

Superintendent Adrian Burt, Swindon Borough Police Commander, was the officer in charge of running the police response to the football match.

He said: "The game in general passed by without significant trouble, but it seems there was a minority of football fans intent on causing disorder and disruption to not only the other football fans, but also the wider community who were out in Swindon on Saturday afternoon.

"This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated and we are fully investigating to bring those responsible to justice.

"It is particularly distressing that a Special Constable was injured during the disorder.

"If you can help our enquiries in any way, then please call us."

A 21-year-old man from Swindon was arrested on suspicion of affray and conspiracy to commit violent disorder and has been released under investigation while our enquiries continue.

Anyone with information, including anyone who may have CCTV, mobile phone or dash cam footage which could assist our enquiries, should call Local Crime Investigator James Purcell, from the Swindon Community Tasking Team, on 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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