Derby fans are being warned by Greater Manchester Police ahead of this evening’s Premier League showdown.
Plans are in place to police the derby match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Ethiad stadium, Eastlands, which will kick off at 8pm.
Chief Superintendent John O’Hare said it was a day to remember for football and it should not be ruined by violence and aggressive drunken fans.
He said: “My message is clear, tonight we will take firm action to protect the safety off all fans, families and the public to ensure no disorder escalates.
“We will be using hoses, dogs and protective equipment, while working closely with each football club, to control the tense environment.”
There will be additional police patrols in place in the city centre and around the ground and officers will be visiting pubs where the match is being shown live on TV.
Anyone caught with alcohol on the streets within the alcohol exclusion zone, stretching from the city centre to the stadium, will have it confiscated. In addition, anyone arriving at the stadium under the influence of excess alcohol will be refused entry.
Chief Superintendent O’Hare continued: “Both Manchester United and Manchester City are supportive of the fact that anyone who is arrested in connection with causing trouble at the derby, runs the risk of being banned from entering their respective clubs again in the future.”
He said that he would like to see the best team win, although tonight’s game could swiftly get out of control if the police do not act accordingly.
If you want to get help to stop your abusive behaviour call the Respect Helpline on 0800 802 4040.