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Cologne criticise ‘inadequate’ Arsenal security measures

Last Updated: 15/09/17 6:35pm

Extra police were deployed at Emirates Stadium after fan disorder before kick-off

Cologne have criticised “inadequate” security measures at the Emirates after crowd issues in their Europa League tie with Arsenal.

UEFA has charged Arsenal with blocking stairways in the away supporters section of the stadium during the Group H fixture, while Cologne face four counts – crowd disturbances; the setting off of fireworks; throwing objects; and acts of damage.1

Arsenal have already begun an investigation into the incidents, which led to five people being arrested following crowd disturbances. Arsenal have announced they are undertaking a full review into the events on Thursday, and said “the safety of everyone in and around Emirates Stadium is always our paramount consideration”. Cologne have condemned the incidents, which saw the game kick off an hour late, but believe it would have been “sensible” for the German side to be given more than their 3,000-seat allocation, with another 17,000 of the club’s supporters understood to have made the trip to London. “Due to the enormous demand for tickets, it would have been sensible, not least for security reasons, to allow more than the allocated five per cent of stadium capacity to the guest fans,” a Cologne statement read. “It was apparent that thousands of people from Cologne would seek to avoid the restrictions and get tickets in every way possible.

Arsene Wenger believes it would be ‘completely unfair’ for UEFA to punish Arsenal for the crowd violence which marred the win over Cologne

“One such way would be through the help of Arsenal supporters, who passed on their tickets to the FC fans . Some as gifts, but some also for horrendous prices.” Arsenal have acknowledged a number of away supporters had gained access to home sections “illegally, most likely via ticket touts”. The Premier League club also confirmed that anyone who became an Arsenal member after the UEFA Europa League draw would not have been eligible to buy tickets through their box office or ticket exchange services.

The safety of everyone in and around Emirates Stadium is always our paramount consideration.

Arsenal statement

An Arsenal statement read: “Any tickets found that have been sold or purchased illegally will be traced back to the original purchaser who will have their membership cancelled and the appropriate action taken.

“We are satisfied that the joint decision to delay the match by one hour and play with a 9.05pmkick-offf was the best and safest option . This was the first time in 20 years of European competition we have had to take such an action . Ultimately the match passed off safely.”

Cologne insist they, along with Arsenal, urged fans to purchase tickets only through official channels, and although the club believe the match going ahead was the correct decision, they questioned the security measures in place. “Despite the tremendous experience of both the London security forces and Arsenal as a permanent partaker in European football, the organisers were unfortunately not adequately prepared for the task,” the statement continued. “In our view, the security concept and communication seemed inadequate and the police force too small.

In our view, the security concept and communication seemed inadequate and the police force too small.

Cologne statement

“The most important common goal of having the match played on the same evening was achieved by allowing fans with valid tickets to quickly take their seats . This procedure proved to be the correct decision . Finally, the course of the match showed that the mixing of home and away fans did not constitute a safety risk for this match.” Cologne apologised to Arsenal for “a group of so-called disturbers” which they said “threatened, insulted, and even attacked stewards and police officers without cause”.

Chelsea vs Arsenal

September 17, 2017, 12:30pm

Live on Cologne Criticise 'inadequate' Arsenal Security Measures

However, the Bundesliga side remained adamant they were not responsible for this minority.

The statement continued: “These people are solely responsible for the fact that a football match with a special meaning for an entire region, as well as the courageous effort of our team on the pitch, had to be overshadowed by scenes that had nothing to do with sport and fair play.”

Arsenal are back in Premier League action this weekend as part of a Super Sunday double-bill .

Coverage of Chelsea v Arsenal begins at 12:30pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event, followed by Manchester United v Everton.

References

  1. ^ UEFA has charged Arsenal with blocking stairways in the away supporters section of the stadium during the Group H fixture, while Cologne face four counts – crowd disturbances; the setting off of fireworks; throwing objects; and acts of damage. (www.skysports.com)

Round-the-clock security reinstated at historic hotel to protect it from vandals

ACTION is being taken to try to prevent vandals breaking into a historic New Forest hotel and wrecking the ornate interior.

PegasusLife has reinstated round-the-clock security at the Lyndhurst1 Park Hotel and boarded up more of the windows after being told by police to increase security.

It follows a spate of incidents in which hooligans have destroyed a large number of fixtures and fittings.

The hotel, which dominates the eastern entrance to the village, closed in 2014 with the loss of more than 20 jobs.

Plans by PegasusLife to bulldoze the building and replace it with 74 retirement apartments were rejected by the New Forest National Park Authority2 (NPA) earlier this year.

As the complex continued to stand empty, vandals started smashing their way in and wrecking the rooms.

Two months ago conservationists said a priceless stained-glass window installed in the 19th century was among the items that had been destroyed.

Now more of the windows have been boarded up, including those on the upper floors .

In some cases metal sheeting or the original glass has been replaced with wood.

It follows a meeting attended by representatives from Hampshire police, New Forest District Council3 and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

In a letter to Lyndhurst Parish Council, Police Inspector Katherine Willoughby says: My understanding is that PegasusLife withdrew the 24/7 security once the planning application had been declined.

We have requested that further security is put back on and that the premises are secured with more thorough boarding.

Parish councillors are waiting to see if PegasusLife will lodge an appeal against the NPA s decision or submit a revised scheme.

Speaking last month Grant Drummond, development director for the site, responded to concerns by saying the company was doing everything it could to protect the site.

He said: We are in regular contact with the police and have reported all break-ins that we ve become aware of.

Our security company has detained people on site and passed details of people and vehicles to the police and this has resulted in at least one arrest.

We re taking every practicable measure to minimise opportunities for unlawful access.

Asked about the latest attempts to protect the site a company spokesman said: We currently have 24/7 security with two guards and have installed a welfare unit for them.

A Hampshire Police spokesman added: We attended a partnership meeting about this issue and security at the site has been improved.

References

  1. ^ Lyndhurst (www.bournemouthecho.co.uk)
  2. ^ New Forest National Park Authority (www.newforestnpa.gov.uk)
  3. ^ New Forest District Council (www.nfdc.gov.uk)

Security guard suffers daily migraines after being attacked at the …

A SECURITY guard who was attacked while on duty suffers from migraines every day as a result of his injuries, a court heard.

James King was assaulted at the Dolphin Shopping Centre1 just before Christmas last year by a man and a woman.

Andrew Goldstraw, 42, and Christa Stevenson, known as Stacey Coleman, 40, both of Junction Road in Poole, pleaded guilty to assault by beating at Poole Magistrates Court yesterday.

The pair had originally denied the charges.

Police officers were called to the shopping centre on Sunday, December 18 at 5.05pm after a row broke out between a man, a woman and members of security staff.

During proceedings yesterday CCTV footage of the incident was shown to the court.

Goldstraw, who is already in custody serving another prison sentence, could be seen grappling with Mr King on the floor of Poole bus station.

Coleman then appears and is seen to kick Mr King more than once in the leg while he is still on the floor.

Miss Nicola Bowker, prosecuting, told the court that Mr King sustained a cut under his eye as well as bruising and swelling to the head.

She added: As a result of the injuries to his head Mr King now suffers with migraines which can occur two or three times a day.

This also means that he suffers with a lot of pain.

The court heard that Goldstraw apologised for his behaviour on the night in question.

Handing down his sentence District Judge Snow said: The offence is so serious that only custody can be justified.

A security guard is vulnerable to this type of behaviour and this was a nasty injury which has taken a significant amount of time to recover from, he added.

Goldstraw was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison .

Coleman s sentencing was adjourned to later in the day following a pre-sentence report but was told that she was unlikely to face any prison time.

References

  1. ^ Dolphin Shopping Centre (www.dolphinshoppingcentre.co.uk)