It’s a big day for local footy fans on Saturday, as Grimsby Town prepare to meet local rivals Scunthorpe United at Blundell Park and Hull City take on Birmingham City at the KCOM Stadium.
As always, our teams will be on hand to do everything we can to make sure both matches pass off safely and enjoyably – and that all those heading out to do some last minute Christmas shopping have fun too.
Match commander Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson said: “Our main priority is making sure we keep you safe, whatever the situation and with all three of our major local teams in action on Saturday, we have been doing a lot of planning to make sure that’s exactly what we do.
“It should be a really good day. We’re expecting lots of friendly rivalry and banter between the fans and we’ve got plenty of Mariners, Tigers and Iron fans in the force, so they’ll no doubt be joining in with that too.
“We know that the majority of you coming to watch the match don’t want to see any violence or disorder and my promise to you is that anyone who does decide to get involved in this kind of behaviour will be swiftly dealt with.
“Not only will they be arrested and taken off the streets on the day but they’ll also be facing prosecution, club bans and Football Banning Orders.
“For that reason, you will see a lot of officers at Blundell Park and the KCOM – some of which will be carrying or wearing protective equipment.
“After working with local pubs and licencing officers at North East Lincolnshire Council, many have opted not to open in the morning to prevent people drinking excessively prior to the match and reduce the risk of alcohol-fuelled disorder.
“Where pubs are opening, the licensees have informed us that they’ll only be admitting regulars but the ground will be open from 11.30am, so we recommend Scunthorpe fans go straight there.
“However, only a few Grimsby tickets are left at Blundell Park, so if you’re a Scunthorpe fan and you’ve not been lucky enough to get one, then please don’t travel as you won’t be able to get in and the match is not being screened anywhere.
“We and the clubs work together, sharing information and intelligence about any potential concerns, so that we put the right resources in place, in the right areas, so please don’t be alarmed or concerned. Those officers are only there to make sure we keep you safe.
“You’ll also see a number of officers on the trains and escorting buses for the same reason.
“If you have any questions or you want to ask us anything, just come and say hi. Whether you’ve seen something you’re worried about or you’re just after directions, we’re here to help.”