HUNDREDS of police officers descended on Huddersfield for Saturday’s huge derby game between Town and Leeds United – but they had no real trouble to tackle.
The huge operation was meticulously planned to ensure that the match at the Galpharm Stadium went without any trouble.
And police praised the majority of the 20,000 fans for behaving well on the day.
Insp Nick Harvey, who was manning St George’s Square before the afternoon kick-off, said he had seen no trouble with fans arriving to watch the game.
“There have been no problems at all,’’ he said. “The majority of fans come into town well-behaved and looking forward to the game and there’s been a really good atmosphere.
“There’s sometimes a small minority who cause problems and we deal with them in the appropriate manner, but 99% of people come here to have fun and enjoy a football game and we are here to facilitate them in doing that.”
Extra officers were drafted in from all over the force to provide back-up to local policing resources on what has been described as one of the biggest events of the season.
There were estimated to be at least 200 officers manning the stadium and key approaches to and from the town centre before and after the match.
In the town centre, foot patrols were joined by mounted officers, police dogs, special units and British Transport Police.
Police also worked closely with licensees of the town’s pubs and continued a heavy presence until the early evening.
Insp Harvey added: “This is normal protocol for big games like this and operations are extremely well planned and organised. Our main priority is ensure that people are kept safe throughout the day and that those not enjoying the game can go about their normal business.
“People expect there to be problems with games like these, but most come to watch the game and are very respectful.
“A minority do try to spoil it for others by getting carried away and disorderly, usually when there is drink involved after the game and we deal with them in a firm but fair manner.”
Police had wanted to avoid a repeat of last season when there were clashes after the game.
They asked home supporters not to move from the Riverside Stand to the South Stand car park straight after the final whistle to help fans leave the ground safely.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said there had been no reports of major incidents following the game.