Four arrested in football disorder probe

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Detectives have arrested four people as part of an ongoing investigation launched following the disorder at the Preston North End vs Blackpool derby match earlier this month.

Police say there were a number of incidents during the day that culminated in around 200 supporters invading the pitch following the game, which PNE won 1-0. There were some minor scuffles between some fans and significant damage to the stadium.

A major investigation was launched which included examining CCTV, including images from throughout the day from the city centre, and gathering other evidence.

A 16 year old boy from Walmer Bridge and a 16 year old boy from Ashton have both been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit violence disorder; a 19 year old man from Fulwood has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit violence disorder and going onto a playing area at a football pitch and a 40 year old man from Ashton has been arrested on suspicion of a violent disorder.

The 40 year old man remains in police custody but the three other people arrested have been released on police bail until August 27.

The officer in charge of the investigation, Det Insp Paddy O’Neill, said: “The behaviour of those involved in the disorder was completely unacceptable and we hope that these arrests will show people that we have not given up and that we will continue to do all we can to trace those involved and put them before the courts.

“The vast majority of those who attended the fixture behaved responsibly and it is entirely regrettable that a small number chose to act in this mindless fashion.

“Disorder like this mars the game, it’s illegal and it frightens people. We will work hard with both clubs and members of the public to identify those involved, and my message to those people is that your arrest is inevitable.”

The investigation is continuing and anyone with any information about anybody involved in any incidents of disorder should contact police 101.