Birmingham City vs Millwall: latest on police probe as 5 arrested and fan seriously injured

A number of arrests were made following a day of football-related violence in Birmingham

Five people were arrested on Saturday (23 April) after fights broke out following the Birmingham City v Millwall match at St Andrew’s.

West Midlands Police had a large operation in place for the fixture but incidents occurred across a large area of the city.

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Five men have been arrested on suspicion of a variety of offences including non-recent offences at football matches, racism, violent disorder and public order crimes.

All have been released under investigation for suspected offences committed before, during and after the game.

One of these men continues to be held for failing to appear at court. This relates to an investigation by the City of London Police into suspected drug offences.

In an incident before kick-off, a 30-year-old man from Smethwick was arrested on suspicion of wounding after a 60-year-old Millwall fan was assaulted before the game on Cattell Road.

It is believed that the man, from London, was with his family and had just arrived at St Andrew’s when he was assaulted on Cattell Road. He received treatment before being taken to hospital.

The arrested man is being held on suspicion of a Section 18 assault.

Day of violence

The level of violence meant some of officers had to wear public order helmets, use shields and draw their batons.

Bricks, bottles and objects were used as weapons in the hotspots around Digbeth and other areas between the stadium and New Street railway station.

The Football Policing Unit and detectives from Force CID have opened a joint investigation.

They are working closely with both football clubs and supporter groups.

Witnesses have been spoken to and CCTV is being reviewed alongside images posted online, and the force said more arrests will come in the following weeks.

Around 150 seats inside St Andrew’s stadium were also vandalised during the game. This is also being investigated.

Footage also emerged on social media of clashes between fans inside St Andrew’s, as seen in the footage above.

What has West Midlands Police said about the disorder?

Chief Superintendent Ian Parnell (pictured), said: “It is important to remember that despite how disruptive these incidents were and the fear they caused others, the behaviour of these people represented a minority.

“The violent behaviour was unacceptable and we will do everything we can to find those responsible so that they can be punished appropriately by the courts.

“We always push for the maximum punishment and we are supported by the clubs in this.

“Most fans just want to enjoy the game but a minority have ruined today for the majority.

“In addition to the impact criminal convictions have on jobs, future careers, travel rights and more, people found guilty of football related crimes risk lifetime bans from all games.

“There was a large operation in place for today’s three games. Officers from across the West Midlands were called in to help, supported by dog units, drone teams and others, and cancelled days off. The clubs were each involved in creating and supporting those plans.

“Our preparations meant that we successfully stopped lots of incidents before they started and most people will never know about those.

“The security plans and the bravery of our officers also meant that we were able to quickly get things back under control in the multiple, sporadic locations covering a large area where people were intent on violence.”

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