Cheshire Police have charged six men with affray following an altercation involving rival football fans.
Three men from Chester (aged 49, 28 and 23), an 18-year-old man from Tarporley and two men from Wrexham (aged 25 and 20) were arrested in a joint Cheshire Police and North Wales Police operation today.
They have all been released on conditional bail and are set to appear at Chester Magistrates’ Court on Friday 13 April.
The charges relate to an incident that occurred at The Cross on Eastgate Street in Chester in the hours preceding the Chester City versus Wrexham National League match on Wednesday 8 November 2017.
As part of their bail conditions the men are banned from attending the corresponding league fixture between the two football clubs in Wrexham at noon on Sunday 11 March.
A 14-year-old boy from Wrexham who was arrested on suspicion of affray has been bailed pending further enquiries.
A 33-year-old man from Chester who was arrested on suspicion of affray has been released without charge.
Detectives from Cheshire and North Wales have conducted an extensive joint investigation in an attempt to identify those involved in the altercation.
With the corresponding league fixture between the two clubs in Wrexham this coming Sunday, officers carried out a series of warrants, leading to this morning’s arrests.
Cheshire Police Detective Sergeant Stuart Needham said:
“The arrests are the culmination of a four-month joint investigation with North Wales Police.
We have spent a significant amount of time gathering evidence, analysing CCTV footage and images and working with our colleagues in North Wales Police to get to the stage where we have been able to make eight arrests in a co-ordinated joint force operation.
While the majority of football fans who went to the Chester versus Wrexham match on Wednesday 8 November behaved well, unfortunately there were a small number who were intent on committing crime and disrupting the lives of those who live, work and visit Chester.
There was an altercation between Chester and Wrexham supporters at around 3pm. A number of innocent members of the public/shoppers were present and we received multiple calls about the incident.
Fortunately no-one required hospital attention and no damage was caused as a result of the altercation, but such incidents will not be tolerated.
The arrests we have made should serve as a warning to football fans that go to games looking to cause, or get involved in, trouble that anyone who commits an offence will be located and brought to justice, no matter where they live.
“I would like to thank all of the officers who carried out the raids, including our colleagues at North Wales Police.
Without their support the multiple arrests in two separate countries on the same day would not have been possible.”
North Wales Police are reminding fans attending the Wrexham versus Chester football match at the Racecourse ground on Sunday March 11 to behave responsibly.
Chief Supt Alex Goss said;
“North Wales Police has a responsibility to safeguard the right of fans to attend and to safeguard the rights of individuals to carry out their normal lives.
These responsibilities need to be balanced to ensure a proportionate police response. Public safety and maintaining order is our priority.
“I would ask fans to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and to allow others in the area to go about their daily business.