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Tuesday December 01

Albion and Palace fans praised by police

17 March 2013

Sussex Police have congratulated supporters of both sides after Brighton and Hove Albion's match against Crystal Palace on Sunday (March 17) passed without major incident.

Chief Inspector Paul Betts, who was leading the policing operation, said: "There was a small number of potential flashpoints between rival groups of fans at Brighton and Falmer railway stations, but these involved a small minority and we were able to deal with them very quickly.

"I should like to thank supporters from both sides who heeded appeals from the clubs, supporters' groups and the police to enjoy the game in a spirit of rivalry, not violence. We did have to hold back some Crystal Palace fans for 10-15 minutes while we waited for their train to arrive at the end of the match. This was for public safety reasons and I thank them for their patience while this happened.

"There were only three arrests at the Amex, two for being drunk and disorderly and one for possession of Class A drugs, and our colleagues from British Transport Police made two arrests for public order offences.

"Today has shown that Albion versus Palace matches can be played without the disorder that has taken place in recent years. Hopefully, we can move forward to a point where everyone can look forward to these fixtures for all the right sporting reasons."

A 31-year-old man from Eastbourne was arrested at the stadium for being drunk and disorderly as was a 19-year-old man, arrested on the concourse at Falmer railway station.

A 40-year-old man from Brighton was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine after he was discovered smoking in a prohibited area at the Amex.

A 36-year-old man from South Croydon was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence (swearing) while getting on to a train at Falmer. Also at Falmer, an 18-year-old man from Caterham was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence after being seen to spit on members of the public from a railway bridge.

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