Sussex Police to hunt down gay-slur Palace fans

Police escort fans up Queen's Road, Brighton

Police escort fans up Queen's Road, Brighton

12:40pm Monday 18th March 2013 in News

By Bill Gardner and Anna Roberts

Sussex Police have vowed to hunt down Crystal Palace fans who chanted homophobic slogans before and after yesterday’s derby clash.

More than 100 fans from the London club hurled anti-gay taunts at passers-by and set off smoke bombs as they were marched up West Street and Queen's Road in Brighton by police before the game.

The chants continued during and after the match as rival fans squared off outside American Express Community Stadium.

Officers wore body cameras to capture the scenes on film.

A record crowd of 28,499 fans packed into the Amex to watch a rampaging Albion team thrash their bitter rivals 3-0.

After the match Seagulls manager Gus Poyet: “This is a day to stop time and stay here forever. I’d like to finish a season like this.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said officers were aware there had been homophobic taunts hurled at Albion supporters.

He said: “Officers were deployed with body-worn video and if any offences are identified including homophobic chanting those responsible will be identified.”

Minor scuffles

More than 350 police officers were involved in the operation, about 100 more than were involved in last season’s fixture.

There were minor scuffles outside the stadium before the game when rival sets of fans tried to break through police lines.

Officers in riot gear and mounted police pushed back the troublemakers before they could reach each other.

But police hailed the day as a “great success” with only five arrests made – three Brighton and Hove Albion fans and two Crystal Palace supporters.

Arrests

A 31-year-old Eastbourne man and a 19-year-old Brighton man were arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly while a 40-year-old Brighton man was arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine.

A 36-year-old Crystal Palace fan from south Croydon was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence – swearing – at Falmer Station.

A second Palace fan, an 18-year-old from Surrey, was arrested on suspicion of spitting of people from a bridge.

Chief Inspector Paul Betts, of Sussex Police, said: “There was a small number of potential flashpoints between rival groups of fans at Brighton and Falmer 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.

“Today has shown that Albion versus Palace matches can be played without the disorder that has taken place in recent years.”

See more Albion news in The Argus sport section.

Pictures from the match Albion v Crystal Palace.

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Comments

1:11pm Mon 18 Mar 13 paul76 says…

When will football supporters grow up? This sort of thing doesn't go on in any other sport does it?

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2:25pm Mon 18 Mar 13 fredflintstone1 says…

Have the police really got nothing better to do? Sticks & stones, to quote the old phrase.....

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2:39pm Mon 18 Mar 13 CatoTheCat says…

What a charmless bunch of "men". Meh!

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2:39pm Mon 18 Mar 13 funkyyoyo says…

ditto! kindly spend your time solving crimes in brighton and hove!! and not wasting taxpayers money on finding 100 anti gay whatever they are!!!!!

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4:31pm Mon 18 Mar 13 Jetsamandflotsam says…

I disagree. Find them, fine them and get them banned from attending matches. I witnessed mindless agressive behaviour from both sides of supporters of supposedly fully grown men. Time for them to grow up and pay up.

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6:05pm Mon 18 Mar 13 B rian Tawses left foot says…

No wonder real crimes go unsolved. Police time and resources wasted on nonsense. People who give me abuse get it right back - and then some - I don't run to the police crying.

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6:40pm Mon 18 Mar 13 The last temptation of crisps says…

Someone told me that the venue and clubs do not cover the entire additional costs of policing the event. I understand they are only responsible and obliged for the immediate vicinity around the stadium and not Brighton station or streets. Is this true? Now the people of Brighton are forced to pay for investigating resultant crimes further. Send the bill to the those pocketing the cash for this event. Not the services under pressure being used by kids, vulnerable adults and old folk that could do with the money instead.

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9:27pm Mon 18 Mar 13 just-a-person says…

Think you are making a meal out of this Argus. The police will have to go after a lot of away team fans if that is the case then as you usually hear does your boyfriend know your here, the Brighton fans give as good as they take and like it or not it is a part of football.

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11:50pm Mon 18 Mar 13 mr punch says…

just-a-person wrote…

Think you are making a meal out of this Argus. The police will have to go after a lot of away team fans if that is the case then as you usually hear does your boyfriend know your here, the Brighton fans give as good as they take and like it or not it is a part of football.

spot on! Does it really matter? Almost every football chant will offend someone. When albion were 3-0 they chanted "we just f...ked u up the ar5e!" I thought it hilarious! will all the hetro's complain to the police? what a load of nonsense.

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3:08am Tue 19 Mar 13 down_under says…

Scum-sucking football fans strike again. What a bunch of lowlife you all are.

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7:04am Tue 19 Mar 13 Maxwell's Ghost says…

Crystal Palace is the gayest name for a football club.

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10:34am Tue 19 Mar 13 Robbo82 says…

as a gay, proud and passionate palace fan living in brighton i do agree i do absolutly hate the we scored 3 chant to the weed and never sing or condone it, however brighton fans aren't all angels as you see in the video and the lone brighton fan offering a fight behind the train station needs a few more brain cells so it is all tit for tat. have to say the policing was a lot lot better this year and they dealed with it a lot quicker and sufficiently as shows only 4 arrests sunday compared the the numerous arrests last year.

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11:29am Tue 19 Mar 13 NickBrt says…

Didn't football used to be about sport rather than intimidation and violence? Sadly I can't even blame Caroline and Jason for this one as football violence started long before they were thrust into our lives.

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12:08pm Tue 19 Mar 13 south1919 says…

Lets put this into perspective, nobody died, nobody taken away in an ambulance, nobody hurt other then a few feelings by the sound of it . If some people had there way it would be full of families and corporate spending loads of money all seating down

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12:17pm Tue 19 Mar 13 voiceofthescoombe says…

Only 350 police in riot gear needed to keep it peaceful. Why shouldnt families go to a football match?

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12:28pm Tue 19 Mar 13 south1919 says…

voiceofthescoombe wrote…

Only 350 police in riot gear needed to keep it peaceful. Why shouldnt families go to a football match?

Didn't say families shouldn't go, if the FA had their way it would only be families and corporate . How many times have you seen a little disturbance this season at Brighton ? not many i bet , this was a derby match for christ sake, what did you think was going to happen

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12:32pm Tue 19 Mar 13 Too many Harveys says…

I quite agree, sticks and stones. We get it at every single game and no Brighton fan cares less hence the aforementioned chant from Sunday (which was hilarious) and the regular retort of "you're too ugly to be gay". Brighton fans straight or gay embrace our City's image and revel in it. Away fans think we're going to get upset and actually don't know what to do when they get gay embracing songs sung back at them. All part of the fun, baiting the neanderthals.

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12:52pm Tue 19 Mar 13 Mr_Tom says…

The last temptation of crisps wrote…

Someone told me that the venue and clubs do not cover the entire additional costs of policing the event. I understand they are only responsible and obliged for the immediate vicinity around the stadium and not Brighton station or streets. Is this true? Now the people of Brighton are forced to pay for investigating resultant crimes further. Send the bill to the those pocketing the cash for this event. Not the services under pressure being used by kids, vulnerable adults and old folk that could do with the money instead.

yawn... there should be money for both.. don't blame the lack of money for old people or kids on a days policing! look at the money the stadium brings to the town.. Blame instead the filthy tory scum and their banker mates..

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1:47pm Tue 19 Mar 13 hubby says…

Get over it. Sticks and stones.

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5:00pm Tue 19 Mar 13 Number Six says…

Bloody good job they didn't call Brighton supportes unkempt. They would have been done for racism

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9:29pm Tue 19 Mar 13 pebble counter says…

down_under wrote…

Scum-sucking football fans strike again. What a bunch of lowlife you all are.

You poor, poor man.

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