South Coast Football Derby: Policing Plan

Hampshire police have joined forces with Portsmouth and Southampton football clubs to issue early travel advice to fans going to the derby match on December 18.

With tickets shortly to become available, officers are urging fans to plan ahead.

Superintendent Rick Burrows, ground commander for the event, said:

"To maximise the safety of all fans, parts of the ground and surrounding areas will become a sterile area - which effectively means fans will be kept segregated.

"The travelling Southampton fans will be escorted in coaches direct to the ground, and picked up and taken directly back home afterwards.  A condition of entering the ground is that you travel by coach.

"There will be three pick up points for Saints fan coaches - Bursledon Park & Ride, Winchester and from St Mary's Stadium.

"Full details will be made available through the clubs and detailed on  a leaflet which will be sent out to all fans lucky enough to secure a ticket.

"This will also mean there will be restrictions around Fratton Park which will impact on both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. 

"The police and the clubs ask Portsmouth fans to take account of this when planning their journeys to the ground and we would urge all Pompey fans to leave plenty of time - a bit more than usual - to ensure you're there by the 1pm kick off."

"A total of 3,200 tickets are being made available to the visiting fans by ballot, with a ground capacity of 21,000.

"The police and the clubs will seek to minimise the impact on fans but recognise the usual access to licensed premises will be affected, with no alcohol available in the away end or permitted on the coaches travelling to the ground.

"We ask Southampton fans to recognise that this measure is taken in the interests of the safety of everyone coming to the match.

"History has shown that, unfortunately, a small minority can cause disorder that disproportionately affects the majority of peaceful football fans at these derby matches, and we have to carefully balance the interests of all.

"Although this is the first time we have used the coach transport method in Hampshire, it is used regularly to great success elsewhere in the country at other notable high risk football derbies including Swansea v Cardiff and Midlands derby matches.

"By working closely with both clubs, we are committed to ensuring that this is a peaceful event and a great sporting occasion for the south coast."

More details of the policing operation, travel and transport information for fans will be issued nearer the time.

The coach pick-up points for the Southampton fans will be:

St Mary's Stadium
Bursledon Park & Ride, SO31 8EY
(Bursledon Road entry - the former Home supporters park & ride site)
Winchester - by the statue of King Alfred, SO23 9GH