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					 1   SW: good to meet you Simon
 2
 3   SI: likewise tell me about this research you are preparing
 4
 5   SW: well the rationale question is are Cardiff City supporters policed on reputation or
 6   reality (.) really I want to look at the varying tactics of different forces and see which
 7   ones work which ones don’t and why some get it so very wrong
 8
 9   SI: sound interesting (.) well fire away
10
11   SW: what is your role in dealing with Cardiff City and their supporters?
12
13   SI: I am the er (1) one of the football liaison and intelligence officers for Cardiff City
14   Football Club for South Wales police
15
16   SW: yep (.) so what does (.) what does your role entail?
17
18   SI: er right (.) well my role entails from er planning all the home games (1) um in relation
19   to the policing (1) and also um (.) preparing um (.) documentation for when Cardiff travel
20   away (.) so I’m involved in all the games (.) the planning and the intelligence
21
22   SW: ok (.) how have your tactics changed as a force over the years ya’know in recent
23   times?
24
25   SI: yeah absolutely (.) after the fixture against Leeds but obviously the game before that
26   which was Bristol City which was far worse than Leeds (.) um obviously we came to a
27   decision that something had to be done with the Cardiff City fans’ behaviour which was
28   unacceptable and also the club wanted to move forward themselves and even in those
29   days Sam Hammam was looking into having a new stadium development and obviously
30   the behaviour of certain elements of the fans was affecting any decision that was gonna
31   be made (.) it was decided to form a pact between the council and the police and the club
32   so er (1) I think it was eradicate football hooliganism in Cardiff I think the campaign was
33   called um (1) basically we decided to bring all the fans on board (.) one of the reasons for
34   this was that we were getting a lot of contact from ordinary fans suggesting that perhaps
35   our tactics were wrong and we should in fact be trying to isolate the causes of the
36   problem not isolate all the Cardiff City fans um we found this to be dramatically
37   important and in fact had a great bearing on the fans’ behaviour um (1) basically at the
38   end of the fixtures we would line up along the road along Sloper Road and the away fans
39   were coming out and we had all the lunatics and the ones who wanted altercation would
40   stop at the police line (.) it wasn’t an actual cordon people could get through but of course
41   once everybody had stopped people thought that the police were holding the road (.) so
42   by a simple tactic of removing the police from the road that allowed all the people then to
43   get out of the area and people who wanted to get on with their business could leave the
44   area and the people who were left behind were told that there was no reason for them to
45   be there now move on or by dealt with (.) this was seen as a massive positive by the
46   genuine Cardiff City fans who said no longer were they getting involved in problems um



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47   (1) and in fact they wanted us to deal with the people left behind who were looking to
48   engage in disorder so a load of things were set up we have fans meetings now regularly
49   for the people who travel away um before and during the season we have meetings with
50   fans’ representatives //
51
52                   SW:// does that involve the Valley Rams and so forth?
53
54   SI: yep the Valley Rams were involved certainly a great deal in the beginning years (.)
55   you had people like Gwyn Davis and Paul Corkrey and other members like Ketty and
56   ya’know all of the bigger names from the Rams used to come to the meetings and
57   ya’know we realised that something had to be done with Cardiff and obviously the fans
58   were part of the solution um (1) and fair play Vince Alm and people like that they’ve
59   come on board and helped a great deal
60
61   SW: looking at Wolves now on Saturday (.) how was that decision reached to make it a
62   bubble game?
63
64   SI: oh right that decision was made by the Police Commander for the game and he
65   decided that um (2) he wanted the game to go off trouble free and the best for him to
66   organise the resources we have on duty was to er to be able to encompass and look after
67   the Wolves fans all together rather then let people come in by train and all different
68   methods so his decision was based on that um we have had disorder (1) with Wolves fans
69   obviously at Molineux and Cardiff and he believed that the best way to reduce the risk
70   was to incorporate into a bubble (1) escort match
71
72   SW: so he’s the top dog is he?
73
74   SI: yeah he’s the Super Intendment (.) obviously he’s doing the event so it’s down to how
75   he wants it policed
76
77   SW: people have said that if you treat supporters fairly you tend to get a positive reaction
78
79                                                                                     SI: //
80   absolutely I think that’s what we’ve proved over the years when we’ve had all the um
81   Wembley events in Cardiff we’ve adopted the same policy if you look after people on a
82   personal level so that they enjoy the game and try to make their day as good as possible it
83   tends to isolate the risk supporters um (2) the problem we seem to have is that Cardiff
84   City fans seem to have a problem with Wolves supporters um after what’s obviously
85   gone on in previous seasons which makes it very very difficult to isolate people and
86   obviously the ordinary fans were very very angry about not being able to go to Wolves
87   um (1) and they may react as they normally might not of so that was another reason and
88   obviously there are other issues surrounding the game restricted parking around Ninian
89   Park due to the new stadium being built so it’s all these things that the match commander
90   took into consideration (1) ideally (1) um if we find that supporters are coming to cause
91   disorder we will deal with them and make sure the rest of the supporters have a good day




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 92   SW: how do you feel about the other forces around the country how do you think their
 93   tactics differ?
 94
 95   SI: well you look at some forces and they’ve come on miles (.) you look at Stoke after a
 96   massive disorder there in 2000 ya’know you look at the video of how some of the Cardiff
 97   fans behaved there and ya’know it was pretty bad obviously been over there and what
 98   happened before and how the Cardiff fans were treated (1) obviously this didn’t um (.)
 99   but ya’know we can never forget that we had a large proportion of fans there that went up
100   to Stoke looking for disorder and so (.) but now you look at Stoke we played them two
101   weeks ago and it was a Saturday kick-off first Saturday and the restriction they put on
102   was to make sure it was a twelve o’clock kick-off but independent travel so next year
103   they have said that they will strongly look at Saturday with a three o’clock kick-off and
104   independent travel so it’s been completely switched around and that is in no small way
105   down to the behaviour of the Cardiff City fans um (.) ya’know night games there last year
106   we had one PSU I mean um four ago we did Stoke police with twenty three PSUs so
107   ya’know when you consider there’s twenty seven policemen on a PSU resources have
108   been reduced dramatically and that’s no doubt down to organisations like the Valley
109   Rams and Cardiff City Supporters Club
110
111   SW: some forces say that they combat violence with violence I’ve heard that said (.) do
112   you have a word with them and say //
113
114                                       SI:// well we try (.) before we go away we paint the
115   picture we prepare documents showing the behaviour of the Cardiff City has greatly
116   improved um (.) but unfortunately we still have supporters who er may not go looking for
117   trouble but most of them tend to drink too much and other clubs look at them as high risk
118   supporters (.) you look at the new national guidelines set up the UK Football Policing
119   Unit anybody who is likely to engage in anti-social behaviour due to alcohol is to be
120   considered a risk supporter (1) so the old cat C fans as they used to be called no longer
121   exist so they’re a risk or not a risk (.) for me obviously I’ve got to be able to say well yes
122   we have got fans who have had a drink but they don’t all go looking for disorder (.) and
123   the majority of clubs will take that on board and certainly our arrest figures show that still
124   our main arrests are for alcohol related offences (1) it’s another thing that we also say is
125   that the Cardiff fans won’t travel as a risk as such however the Cardiff fans will not back
126   down (.) I have seen that on so many occasions when the Cardiff fans haven’t attacked
127   but ya’know they’ve stood their ground and it’s a well documented subject
128
129   SW: why do you think Cardiff fans are different to other fans in that way?
130
131   SI: well other fans don’t act together (.) our fans (.) if somebody was to have a go or
132   come into a Cardiff pub everybody there will have a good go at defending themselves
133   whereas others may back away from any disorder
134
135   SW: is that a Welsh mentality?
136




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137   SI: it could be yeah it could well be (.) it is I think it is like the village mentality you
138   attack him you attack us ya’know and yeah I do think that is a Welsh thing (.) there are
139   other groups who are like that certainly Milwall are very much the same if they’re ever
140   attacked they stick together but again that’s perhaps where they’re from (.) they’re an
141   isolated place they’re used to having hostility shown towards them and they react
142   accordingly to stop that (.) whereas you have other groups going looking for disorder to
143   engage in it and I think now Cardiff have stepped well back from that whereas it used to
144   happen in large numbers (.) they used to go out looking for disorder you but now that’s
145   down to thirty or forty fans now who go looking for it
146
147   SW: that’s happened right throughout football though don’t you think?
148
149   SI: well no you’ve got some clubs (.) Bristol City (.) well yeah it is a general downturn it
150   definitely is a general downturn but um you always have a hardcore (.) when you
151   consider how many lads were outside the Bristol City game I reckon that was in the
152   thousands to what we have now is significantly reduced more than most other risk groups
153   (1) and you hear so many people that I speak to who were in one time engaged in
154   disorder will say it’s over in Cardiff now (.) people won’t go looking (.) you look at
155   Tottenham when they came down to us (.) the group that Cardiff put out was significantly
156   reduced than in years gone by (.) and that obviously helped us to deal with the disorder
157   that occurred on the day
158
159   SW: looking at restrictions the one that I can never get my head around is when other
160   forces make City fans go and collect their tickets from a service station on the way
161
162   SI: it’s a considered tactic that is considered successful by other forces (.) personally I
163   think that it gets the ordinary fans wound up so I think it influences the behaviour of the
164   whole fan group (1) the reason that they used to do it for Cardiff fans was the amount of
165   alcohol that used to go on the buses particularly with the Valley Rams so they used to
166   take the coaches to a RV point to make sure they were clear of alcohol and that was one
167   of the tactics that was adopted to try and counter the amount of alcohol (1) no matter how
168   many meetings we went to and said listen you’re not allowed to take alcohol we knew it
169   was gonna happen (.) and we used to say clean your buses up but still Cardiff fans used to
170   arrive with vast amounts of alcohol on their coaches (1) and so that was one method used
171   by forces to try and counter it
172
173   SW: ok so how about ID cards which restrictions do you think work well and which ones
174   don’t?
175
176   SI: well ID cards do try and stop people from working (.) for me the best restrictions are
177   us being intelligence led knowing what coaches we’ve got coming know the make-up of
178   our fans and just to say ya’know we’ve got twenty fans coming from Vince and his group
179   are coming well just take them and deal with them separately ya’know they have an issue
180   with alcohol on some coaches (.) if that is a problem then we target those coaches but the
181   vast majority of the fans don’t get (2) held back due to the behaviour of the minority
182



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183   SW: for the future are you going to keep doing what you’re doing or are you going to
184   make changes?
185
186   SI: no no well touch wood don’t tell anybody (.) I’m happy doing what I do and ya’know
187   I think we have a reasonable relationship between the police and the fans certainly in
188   South Wales (.) um obviously I’m used to complaints (.) I get all sorts of fans reps
189   ringing me and saying I wasn’t happy with that and I will take it back to the clubs from
190   away yaknow so er (1) slowly but surely we are changing the way that Cardiff City fans
191   are dealt with obviously we have some forces we have a massive problem with (.) West
192   Midlands there’s no doubt that they have an issue with Cardiff fans (.) I think they are
193   just stuck in the dark ages as we saw on the weekend with trouble with Stoke going to
194   Wolves so they haven’t quite grasped that there are different ways to deal with people (1)
195   unfortunately it’s something that we’ve got to be aware of the fans who want to just go up
196   there support the team and leave but react to provocation (.) but there is a great deal of
197   provocation up there
198
199   SW: were you at West Brom a couple of weeks back?
200
201   SI: yes that was something we strongly advised them against (.) all our pre-match
202   documentation stated that if you are going to have the coaches coming in as an escort
203   please bring them in in dribs and drabs don’t keep them all waiting and come in at the last
204   minute because you’ll have a rush at the gates and you will experience problems (1) and
205   the decision wasn’t made by the person who was in charge but the person who was
206   overall given the responsibility for the coaches decided that two of the coaches were
207   running behind so they’d wait for all of them so it was always going to cause problems (.)
208   and it was us who highlighted that nobody was turning up so we were saying if you don’t
209   get the coaches moving you’re going to have problems here er I think what was good
210   there was they listened to us (1) we were there police officers were there at the front of
211   the Cardiff fans and we told the West Midlands police to withdraw and they let us stay
212   there and talk to our fans (.) I ordered the gate to be opened to alleviate the crushing there
213   and so ya’know there one good thing was they did listen to us so that was good but yes it
214   certainly was a problem but they have acknowledged that it was a mistake (.) ya’know
215   next year hopefully we’ll be able to crack on the with the same things (1) people think
216   these RV points for coaches (.) that’s not just for Cardiff fans (.) all fans have RV points
217   because it’s easier to bring the coaches in in a controlled manner in that way (1) certainly
218   in the past when the coaches have arrived in West Bromwich Albion they’ve actually
219   been attacked by West Bromwich Albion fans so we’ve got people at the game that we’ve
220   got to look after and also um it does make it easier to have the coaches together but
221   however (1) it’s something that we do when we have escorts as soon as the coaches come
222   in we bring them in straight away but of course not a lot of people come to Cardiff in vast
223   numbers so we normally don’t have any problems (1) Cardiff fans are quite a rare breed
224   because they travel to away games mainly on coaches whereas a lot of other teams don’t
225   ya’know (1) we just get them back and get them away (.) when they do mess the fans
226   about I can see a lot of the time why they do have problems so yes I do certainly think
227   that some forces overreact when Cardiff come
228



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229   SW: out of fear I guess is it?
230
231   SI: well to be honest whoever is in charge of that match they don’t want to be the match
232   commander in charge when it all went wrong with Cardiff City (.) and then a lot of
233   people would point the finger and say well why didn’t you do this or that (.) so it’s trying
234   to get the balance right (.) they’ve got to be prepared to say no this is what I’m happy
235   with this is the intelligence we’ve got and this is how we’ll deal with the fans (1)
236   ya’know I’ve gone to briefings and I’ve had to say oh hang on if you police in this style it
237   could all go wrong and they’ve changed their ways and said afterwards we see what you
238   mean we could’ve got it wrong and this is the policy we will be adopting in the future
239
240   SW: I suppose it’s impossible to have a textbook and say this is how to police a crowd
241
242   SI: I know this is going to sound strange but when people become involved ya’know
243   things can happen just silly little things it could be from coaches getting held up um (1)
244   ya’know an incident in a service station it just all perpetuates um ya’know (.) we know
245   when we go away the police will go in to clear our buses of alcohol and then you’ll have
246   issues at the service station so the first thing people do then is say oh it’s Cardiff City
247   causing problems at the services so it heightens the police then for when they’re due to
248   arrive at the stadium and might be over nothing (.) absolutely nothing (.) but
249   unfortunately people are very quick to blame Cardiff City fans
250
251   SW: ok finally Simon have you got any worries about the final months of the season
252   perhaps particularly Bristol City?
253
254   SI: well um (.) Bristol City and Cardiff City have held a reciprocal agreement about
255   making these games a bubble trip and this is one of the games I think is safer for fans to
256   travel together did you go to Bristol?
257
258   SW: yeah I did yeah
259
260   SI: the coaches weren’t held up as far as I know and they got them into the ground (.)
261   yeah there was a few problems during the game however I think that was down to poor
262   policing and stewarding tactics rather than er Cardiff fans dramatically misbehaving (1)
263   they just left big gaps in their areas yaknow we have got youngsters amongst our fans
264   who are fully aware that they can have a little ya’know well misbehave basically at
265   football matches um (1) usually we try to isolate them but when they are that big in
266   numbers um then obviously they’ve got to be dealt with (1) but when you leave huge
267   gaps in your policing line and Lee Trundle comes running towards the away fans (.)
268   ya’know they were told but I don’t think they realised how bad it was going to be until he
269   first came on the pitch so er (2) yes that game was a bubble game and it will be the same
270   thing (.) there will be a policing operation in place and we will have police officers on
271   duty the coaches will be brought in opposite the stadium as we’ve done in years gone by
272   and probably the Bristol fans will be kept behind because obviously we have a different
273   situation to Bristol because instead of going out and going into the yard they created we
274   have to get people across the road //



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275
276                              SW:// that’s not done very often any more is it?
277
278   SI: no no and that’s how it’s improved again (1) people don’t realise we’ve had eleven
279   police free games this year (.) that’s probably more than any other side in the (1) well
280   certainly in the Championship //
281
282                              SW:// just completely police free? none at all?
283
284   SI: we’ve had four spotters including myself who go in the ground and then we just have
285   people on road closure outside //
286
287                               SW:// that’s really good
288
289   SI: oh it’s brilliant mate (.) it’s brilliant for us it’s brilliant for the club (.) the club save
290   money cos they don’t get the charges so obviously they don’t get charged for that then we
291   don’t have the use vast amount of officers down Cardiff City and we can deploy them
292   elsewhere (1) so that’s another thing that being intelligence led has helped us reduce the
293   amount of resources we use at Ninian Park
294
295   SW: that’s progress I wasn’t aware of that
296
297   SI: yeah well ya’know not many people are but ya’know we have clubs coming down and
298   they say what do you mean it’ll be police free and I say yeah (.) same crowd fifteen
299   thousand but there will be no police officers on duty (1) obviously we have to pick the
300   games we do it at (.) Norwich on Saturday great example ya’know great support they had
301   (1) seven hundred which I think is immense for a twelve thirty kick-off on a Saturday all
302   the way from there (.) but not an issue (.) but we look at the beginning of the season we
303   sit down and discuss with the club ya’know what games we should do at what level and
304   we’re never far off (.) we’ve built up a really good working relationship and um (1)
305   we’ve been able to have police free fixtures (.) we’ve had a few in the past but normally
306   like the friendlies pre-season or lower leagues or league cup Barnet or places like that (.)
307   but this year we’ve actually had eleven and they include eight league fixtures
308
309   SW: well thank you very much for your time Simon you’ve been very helpful
310
311   SI: ya’know I’m always here (.) I do try and help because I’m proud of what has
312   happened with Cardiff City fans I think their behaviour has improved immensely (.) even
313   the away supporters acknowledge it now ya’know they will say they enjoyed it
314
315   SW: so what do you do on a day-to-day basis a lot of talking is it?
316
317   SI: yeah yeah it is (1) we go away we do pre-match meetings (.) we go to clubs and try
318   and calm their fears (.) we went to Hereford (.) I think the police there were concerned (.)
319   we went to their Head Commander’s briefing myself and Wayne Palmer and we basically
320   relayed all their fears (.) we said this is how we’ll work it nominate Cardiff City fans



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321   pubs they can drink at tell them where to drop off the coaches book these pubs (1) they
322   have to close the pubs at a certain time (.) go round tell them to drink up or go to the
323   game and then after get them on the coaches and leave (.) and that’s proved the best plan
324   that we’ve had for Cardiff fans (.) a lot of clubs won’t travel but our fans they’ll go
325   everywhere they’re not put off going to places (.) ya’know whereas you might have risk
326   supporters not coming to Cardiff but however Cardiff fans will go there so ya’know (2) I
327   think that’s another Welsh thing as well
328
329   SW: I think they just like the atmosphere (.) do you think the new stadium will change
330   things?
331
332   SI: well yeah the club will be appealing to a different cliental I’m sure but (.) you won’t
333   do away with your Valley based supporters (.) they’re of the same culture and a lot of that
334   involves alcohol so ya’know (1) I think we’ll always have alcohol related incidents
335   happening at Cardiff and you can’t get away from that (.) our big thing is yeah by all
336   means go away and have a drink but not drunk (1) you must have seen yourself it’s
337   embarrassing on occasions when you see our fans being helped up towards the turnstiles
338   //
339
340   SW: // I’ve seen them asleep in the stands
341
342   SI: oh yeah (1) we say to them don’t even try and get in (.) turn around and get back on
343   the bus but (.) yeah (.) we are totally aware that we still have a problem with alcohol and
344   Cardiff fans
345
346   SW: I’ll let you get back (.) speak again sometime




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