THURROCK’S top police boss has defended his policing strategy after a violent brawl followed the Tilbury v Grays football match on Monday.
Many had anticipated possible violent clashes following confrontations at the August fixture.
Despite grave concerns expressed, all parties decided that two police officers were sufficient for the game.
Chief Inspector Paul Moor, the Thurrock district commander, said: “Prior to this event we had very close liaison with the organisers who agreed to increase their security and stewarding at the event following some minor scuffles at a previous match.
“There was no known intelligence about any potential violence at Monday’s match.”
Policing consisted of two officers and two private security officers with their dogs.
Chief Inspector Moor has given his own reflections on the brawl that occurred after the game.
He said: “From what I can gather in respect of numbers fighting, this has been ‘grossly’ exaggerated. Although we received initial reports claiming that about 100 people were involved, we now believe the number was nearer 20.
“The violence happened some time after the match finished and the ground had cleared. The trouble began later in the bar and as people left the bar area.
“The man who was injured was walking away when he was hit by a brick thrown over a fence.
“Our officers were assigned to gather intelligence, provide a low key presence and report back during the game if any additional resources were required, such as officers who are available for immediate callout countywide.
This was not the case and the game finished and people very quickly dispersed.
“While it is very unfortunate that a person was injured, this incident appears to have been very over-reported by the media.
“We will continue to investigate the assault reported to us and would welcome anyone with information to contact us.”