Preston Police have launched an investigation after Stoke City fans were pepper sprayed at Deepdale.Advertisement
A clash between supporters of the Potters and police took place at half-time inside the ground.
PC Paul Elliott who runs the PNE Police Twitter account issued an apology to ‘innocent Stoke fans’ caught up in the incident.
A video released on Twitter branded the actions of police ‘disgusting’ and shows Stoke fans singing and chanting, before a line of police move towards them and let off the spray.
— Marcus (@stokie23) August 18, 2018
Stoke-on-Trent Live is reporting Stoke fans as saying supporters were wanting to go for a cigarette and children were also caught up in the police pepper spray.
PC Elliott said: “First let me say I’m the football officer for PNE. I’m a PC and have been working football operations for 12 years, every game home and away.
“I take everything that happens at PNE games personally and I can assure all SCFC fans that the incident that occured at half-time today will be fully investigated.
“There will be a full post-match debrief on Tuesday and all the commanders involved in today’s operation will attend.
“I would request any SCFC fans with observations and/or footage to send me an email. My work address is firstname.lastname@example.org
“I will personally inform SCFC fans and fans groups of the outcome and will invite a representative from the FSF to attend for total transparency.
“I sincerely apologise to any innocent SCFC fans caught up in this incident.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “There was an incident of disorder inside the stadium involving a number of Stoke supporters, who were attempting to forcibly exit the stadium.
“Officers deployed were faced with many aggressive fans and used proportionate force to protect themselves and ensure the disorderly fans did not spill out into the surrounding area.
“As a result of this action, the situation was quickly brought under control and all fans returned to the stadium, where they watched the match without further disruption.”
Stoke brought more than 3,000 fans to Deepdale to see their side draw 2-2, twice coming back from behind against Preston North End.
Preston Police had an increased police presence in the city centre and at the game for the size of the travelling support.