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Police praise Norwich City and Ipswich Town fans after East Anglian derby

PUBLISHED: 16:30 23 August 2014 | UPDATED: 18:02 23 August 2014

Police on horseback at the East Anglian derby. Police have praised both sets of supporters after just two arrests were made.

Police on horseback at the East Anglian derby. Police have praised both sets of supporters after just two arrests were made.

Fans of Norwich City and Ipswich Town have been praised by police after today’s East Anglian derby passed off without any major incidents.

Just two arrests were made in the area around Portman Road for what police described as “low level” public order offences.

A large police presence worked to keep order along with stewards from Ipswich Town as crowds built up more than an hour before kick-off and as they left the stadium following the game.

A headed goal from Canaries’ striker Lewis Grabban earned the Canaries a 1-0 win and saw them go top of the table at the home of their old rivals.

In the run-up to the game, Portman Road itself was split into two sections by police vans, the end near Sir Alf Ramsey Way being reserved for home fans and the end closest to Princes Street set up to accommodate both sets of supporters.

Ipswich fans with tickets for the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand were directed to the left of the police barriers with Norwich City supporters being set to the right.

Officers on horseback were used before and after the fixture to keep the rowdiest groups of fans apart as Canaries’ fans made their way to and from the railway station.

Before the match, police had asked that pubs in Ipswich close for two hours following the game.

Policing operations commander, Insp Matt Rose, said: “We would like to highlight the good-natured spirit shown by both sets of supporters in the build-up to the game and then afterwards.

“We hope they felt we were firm, yet fair with our decisions and tactics to ensure they enjoyed the atmosphere, the game and their journeys to and from the ground.

“We would like to thank our counterparts from Norfolk police and British Transport Police for supporting us on the day and, indeed, in the weeks leading up to the match. We would also thank our other partners and those who were worked with to ensure the day ran smoothly.

“We’re aware that we may have caused disruption to some people, but we hope they understand why we made certain decisions. Finally, we thank those motorists and general public who had been in the vicinity of the ground and train station who showed patience with our necessary road closures.”

Three years ago, when the two sides last met, police had come in for criticism for their handling of supporters after Norwich’s 5-1 romp at Portman Road.

But this time, supporters took to Twitter to praise the policing operation.

Norwich City supporter Greg Foster tweeted: “A very slick operation from the police considering they were an amalgamation of Suffolk, Norfolk & London forces. Those horses are beast.”

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