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Nottinghamshire Police appeal to football fans ahead of East Midlands derby as Nottinghamshire Forest host Derby County at The City Ground

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Nottinghamshire Police have asked those attending tomorrow’s East Midlands derby to help ensure that the day is enjoyed safely by all football fans.

The City Ground will play host to the second clash this season between rivals Nottingham Forest and Derby County on Saturday, with the match due to kick off at 12.30pm.

Police offer advice ahead of Forest-Derby match. (54416747)
Police offer advice ahead of Forest-Derby match. (54416747)

Nottinghamshire Police’s officers will be present at the match and will be working closely with both clubs, as well as engaging with supporters, residents, and local businesses on the day, to make sure spectators enjoy the matchday experience safely.

Chief Inspector Neil Williams, match commander of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We know that, for Forest and Derby fans, these matches are the ones that both sets of supporters look out for at the start of the season, so we want to make sure that everyone enjoys the day as much as possible.

“As always, both sets of fans will be desperate to see their side win and claim the local bragging rights, but whilst we understand that it’s a big occasion, we’d ask that people enjoy the game and don’t go overboard.

“The police appreciate that the vast majority of fans attending the match will look to enjoy the day and cheer their side on, however policing resources will be available to keep people safe, in the event of crime or disorder taking place.

“We have spoken with fan groups to seek their thoughts on the game and have welcomed their comments and incorporated them into our policing plans.

“We’ll be there to support fans and both clubs to provide an enjoyable day for all in attendance.

“Our officers will take positive action against the small minority who are intent on spoiling the event for the vast majority. Our focus will be to work with fans and the club to ensure that those coming to the event have an enjoyable day at a significant sporting event for the region.”

Road closures will be in place close to the City Ground on Lady Bay Bridge before and after the game, so officers are asking that drivers avoid that area during these times.

With Derby County currently fighting for their survival, both on and off the pitch, there is a chance that this could be the last derby for a while, but Ch Insp Williams has urged supporters to ensure interactions remain good-natured.

He said: “I appreciate that this will be the first match back at the City Ground between Forest and Derby since fans returned to stadiums, and that this could potentially be the last derby for some time, but it is important that fans don’t allow their emotions to get the better of them.

“There will also be zero-tolerance to any acts of hate crime connected to the match, including anything offensive posted on social media before, during or after the tie.

“Again though, I would add that we recognise that the vast majority of fans will simply be going to the game to enjoy the day and the local rivalry, so I would ask for everyone to do precisely that.”

Updates will be provided on Twitter throughout the day @NottsPolFootball and @DCFCPolice for Derby fans.

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