The Metropolitan police will deploy more officers outside the stadium for the West Ham v Chelsea game EFL cup game than were used for the mach against Millwall in 2009.
ClaretandHugh’s associate editor, Sean Whetstone attended a Met police football unit meeting in Lambeth on last night (Thurs) alongside Amanda Jacks from the Football Supporters’ Federation, two members of the Chelsea supporters’ Trust, and West Ham’s Supporters Advisory Board (SAB) members and West Ham’s Supporters Liaison Officer (SLO).
The high risk category C match will have significant resources deployed to prevent any breach of the peace or unsocial behaviour.
The police will be under overall control of a gold commander but there will be a silver commander and four bronze commanders deployed for this London derby.
Each bronze commander will have four Police Support Units (PSU) under their command with a total of several hundred police officers deployed outside the stadium within the park and anywhere fans gather in numbers.
Mounted police, police dogs and the police helicopter will also be available for this match.
Although three police officers will be deployed in the London Stadium control room, the police do not intend and have not been asked to locate officers within the London stadium in any significant numbers.
We were told that the Airwave radio issues would not prevent them from entering the stadium if called upon but it was made very clear that away fan segregation within the stadium was a job for the stadium operators and the stewards rather the police.
The police commander admitted during the meeting that they have the right to turn down requests to provide officers in a stadium if they do not believe it is necessary.
However they explained that they were working closely with operators London Stadium 185 and stewards and would provide a proportionate police service.
The police confirmed London Stadium had 1,070 stewards deployed at the Middlesborough game last weekend and that number could increase for the Chelsea cup game.
Chelsea away fans will not be held back by default after the game and the police say they would prefer not to create away fan escorts which sometimes causes more problems than it solves.
The police reiterated that the London stadium has an excellent HD CCTV system in place across the whole stadium and the Olympic park area. They say they could easily read the text on a newspaper held by a supporter in their seat and warned anyone involved in incidents would be identified and dealt with appropriately.