Thursday, February 26, 2009

Police Officer arrested on suspicion of being rioter


An Essex Police officer has been arrested in connection with a night of football violence.

On May 14 last year, rioting broke out in Manchester where 150,000 Rangers fans had arrived to watch the Glasgow club’s UEFA Cup match with Zenit St Petersberg at the City Stadium.

A screen in the largest Rangers fan zone broke before kick-off, and violence erupted.

Officers and supporters clashed in the street, leading to one Russian fan being stabbed and a number of other people being injured.

Greater Manchester Police launched Operation Gale to find the perpetrators, and last month the force published 49 photographs online of people they want to speak to in connection with the disorder.

One of those pictured in a red baseball cap, tracksuit and white trainers is allegedly a serving Essex Police officer.

The 44-year-old was identified by someone who saw the photograph on the police website.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “Officers investigating the trouble following last year’s UEFA Cup Final have made an arrest. The 44-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder”

He confirmed the man is a serving Essex Police officer.

Heather Watts, from Essex Police, added: “Essex Police has been made aware of the arrest by Greater Manchester Police, who are investigating the incident.”

The man has been released on police bail pending further inquiries until June 2.

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