The Commissioner, whose role it is to set policing budgets and priorities, saw first-hand the various roles and responsibilities that form the large police operation required to manage the potential risk of such major events, visiting Blackburn to see the build up to the Blackburn Rovers v Preston football match at Ewood Park.
Commissioner Snowden first joined officers at Greenbank, East Division’s policing HQ, for a briefing on the operation, where intelligence and policing expectations for the evening were shared.
He then joined officers at the ground, where officers were on duty offering reassurance and a visible presence to the large gathering of fans, outside of the stadium.
Finally, he met with staff in the Operations room within Ewood Park itself, where coordination between the police, football club staff and stewards, alongside a range of other partners, is led.
Andrew Snowden, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“Policing major events from football matches to festivals, protests, conferences and many others that take place throughout the year, requires significant resources from across the Constabulary to manage the risks that come with large gatherings and to prepare for every eventuality.
“This was a great chance to see this kind of operation in full swing, from preparation and briefing through to deployment, and the involvement of different policing teams including mounted branch, dog unit, the roads policing team, and many others to mitigate risk and maintain public safety.
“Often, officers may be unseen, with a focus on engagement and interaction with people who just want to have a great day out. However, additional resources are on hand should they be required to tackle crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.
“The detailed planning, sharing of relevant intelligence and partnership working that helps regular policing operations like this run smoothly and crack down on offenders where necessary, is a testament to the commitment of officers and staff, working around the clock to protect the public.
Rovers CEO Steve Waggott said:
“Policing along with our stewarding operation is an integral and vital part of making our football matches safe and secure for everyone who attends Ewood Park.
“Having predominantly positive engagement between home and away supporters with the policing and stewarding of the game ensures people will have an enjoyable experience before, during and after the match.
“It also gives reassurance to all fans that should any anti-social behaviour occur it will be dealt with swiftly and in an ultra professional manner”