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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Celtic Nation step up police security

Security is being stepped up to stop football fans causing trouble by bringing flares and fireworks to matches in Carlisle.

Clair Fidler photo
Clair Fidler

Celtic Nation, the ambitious city-based non-league club, is working with police to identify potential troublemakers from away supporters through social media.

It comes amid reports that some football fans are travelling to games up and down the country armed with flares.

They are believed to be inspired by supporters, known as ‘Ultras’, in some parts of Europe where releasing flares in stadiums during games is commonplace.

Clair Fidler, Celtic Nation’s commercial director, told The Cumberland News: “We have had incidents where certain individuals, who are nothing to do with the club, have put comments [on social media] about bringing pyrotechnics and flares to games.

“This is great intelligence that we can provide to police and what they do with it is then up to them.

“It seems to be a growing trend among some fans who have been to places like Poland and Hamburg and seen people with flares.

“There are people who probably try to use those sort of things here rather than at Carlisle United matches because they think we are a smaller, lower league club and it’s do-able.”

The club, who sit top of Northern League Division One, has also decided to beef up its security on match days as crowds have soared by 2,000 per cent since the start of the season.

Numbers have grown from between 20 and 30 supporters turning out to a club record of 1,019 at their last home game.

Extra stewards have been drafted in and police have begun stepping up their presence at the Gillford Park ground to reduce the risk of disorder.

Ms Fidler added: “We have a duty of care to our supporters and crowds are increasing dramatically.

“We want them to know that they are being looked after and are well provided for and teaming up with police was the next step.”

Inspector Kim Brennand said the aim is to create a safer community for families and other fans attending matches.

She said: “It is a very exciting time for the club who are moving forward and looking for promotion.

“We are keen to maximise the safety of the fans and staff at Gillford Park, ensuring it is an enjoyable atmosphere for all attending.

“Celtic Nation are looking to embrace the support from thecommunity as they are a family-orientated club.

“We are showing a visible police presence in liaison with the club as part of our policing priority to create a safer community, to ensure the football matches are a safe event for everyone to attend and minimise the risk of anydisorder.

“We will continue to advise and support them and look forward to building on the partnership we have already established with Celtic Nation for the future.”

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