One man has been arrested and six police officers have been reported injured following protests at Old Trafford yesterday afternoon.
Yesterday’s Premier League game between Manchester United and Liverpool was postponed due to “safety and security considerations around the protest.”
Police say by late afternoon on Sunday a 1,000 protesters had gathered at Old Trafford and 200 others at the Lowry Hotel in Salford where the home team were staying.
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: “Officers continued to monitor the situation and engage with those present, however they were met with hostility as flares were let off and bottles and barriers were thrown at police officers and horses.
Six police officer injuries have been reported so far with one officer receiving a fractured eye socket, requiring medical treatment, and another sustained a wound to his face, following bottles and cans being thrown from the crowd. A third officer was dragged and kicked. The officer who attended hospital has since been discharged.
As the situation increased in hostility, additional officers had to be deployed and officers had to be drawn in from neighbouring forces to assist Greater Manchester officers.
A 28-year old man has been arrested as a consequence of this investigation and all available evidence is being urgently reviewed to identify both the organisers of this protest and those responsible for the officer assaults.”
GMP Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey, added: “The behaviour shown at this protest was absolutely atrocious. Officers were just trying to do their job and facilitate a peaceful protest, however a number of those present became hostile and aggressive towards officers and forced entry to the football grounds, making it very clear that this protest was not peaceful and ruining it for the majority of protesters who had not intended for the protest to become violent.
“Our officers tried to engage with protestors, but were met with violence and aggression which resulted in enforcement action being taken. Enforcement will always be a last resort, but in these circumstances it was deemed necessary in order to maintain safety during a situation that was rising in hostility.
“No officer should have to come to work and face these conditions. This violence was completely unnecessary and resulted in officers being taken from front line policing and neighbouring forces to prevent the disorder getting worse, putting increased pressure and strain on our service and ultimately taking away resources from those who may be in desperate need of our help.
Police say they are receiving all obtainable evidence and following all lines of enquiry available, in order to identify the organisers of the protest as well as those responsible for the officer assaults.
The spokesperson concluded by saying “If anyone has any information at all in regards to this, or any mobile phone footage from the event itself, please do get in touch with police as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information can contact police on 0161 856 7573 quoting incident number 955 of 02/05/21.
Reports can also be made anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
(Lead Image Credit: mufctilly/Twitter)