Enjoy the game and do your club proud.
That is the message from Hampshire Constabulary’s Strategic Commander Assistant Chief Constable, who is leading the overall policing operation for the Carabao Cup tie between Portsmouth and Southampton.
In partnership with both clubs, a significant policing operation has been planned around this much-anticipated fixture, which sees the football clubs meet for the first time since 2012.
Since the draw at the end of last month, we have been working closely with the clubs, partner agencies and supporters’ groups to put plans in place to help ensure a safe and enjoyable match for all.
As a result of this, fans may see different styles of policing than they would normally see at a football match, with specially trained officers around the ground wearing protective equipment to help keep you safe.
This is the largest ever football policing operation in Hampshire and the public will see a significant police presence in and around the city of Portsmouth on September 24, offering reassurance to fans, as well as those living and working in the city.
We will be using various tactics to keep people safe, with help from our dog units, the mounted section, roads policing, neighbourhood and public order teams on the ground, as well as our drones and colleagues from the National Police Air Service (NPAS) supporting from the skies.
Our dedicated football officers play a key part in all of this, drawing on the vast knowledge they have from policing matches for both clubs, home and away, every season.
On top of this, we’re working closely with our colleagues from British Transport Police on the train network, with Southampton Football Club, supporting their fan coaches travelling to and from the ground safely, and with Portsmouth Football Club, co-ordinating the safe arrival and departure of all fans
There will also be tactics that will not be visible, all designed to keep people safe.
Assistant Chief Constable Scott Chilton said: “This derby is one of the most recognised fixtures in football and I know what it means to fans.
“This is the first time these two teams have played each other since 2012, so we want the fans to be able to enjoy this exciting fixture without worrying about their safety.
“We know the majority of fans want that too, but sadly there are a small minority of people who will try to ruin it for everyone else.
"This is the first time these two teams have played each other since 2012, so we want the fans to be able to enjoy this exciting fixture without worrying about their safety."
“That is why there is a significant policing operation around this match, so we can act quickly to stop any disruption.
“We have been working hard with both clubs and other partners to put these plans in place, drawing on our vast experience of successfully policing big events such as this.
“The scope of the planning operation has been vast, looking to ensure we are using our best tactics to stop any disorder, while seeking to minimise disruption to the lives of those not heading to the match.
“We will have specialist teams deployed at various locations who are highly trained to deal with whatever they are faced with and we’re using technology such as drones to give us a good view of what is happening.
“We have also been working closely with supporters’ groups, understanding what their concerns are and how the work we and the clubs are doing can help fans feel safer so they can enjoy this game.
“I’d like to thank these fans for taking the time to work with us, their input is an important part of this operation.
“Our priority is public safety and our message is clear – any disorder will not be tolerated,
“For those fans who have any concerns on the night, go and speak to one of our officers. They are there for your safety.
“We want this match to be remembered for what happens on the pitch, not off it. Be passionate, enjoy the game and do your club proud.”
In support of both clubs, efforts will be made to ensure everyone is kept informed through announcements at the ground, via the social media channels of both clubs and via our social media channels.