AISA - Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association

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Policing & Stewarding

A key part of AISA's role is to represent problems supporters experience before, during and after Arsenal matches, home and away. We regularly raise policing and stewarding matters with the Club and Islington police.

Our focus is identifying why problems occur, and finding solutions. If you have an issue you would like to take up please use the contact box elsewhere on this page.

Issues discussed at the last meeting we held with the police included:

1. Update on matchday policing operations at Emirates.

2. Crowd control outside the stadium, before and after matches. 

3. Road closures, pedestrian and traffic movements, and 'exceptions' to these.

4. Disabled people not being allowed through Hornsey Road cordon.

5. Residents not (always) being allowed through Drayton Park/Horsell Road cordon.

6. Queuing at Finsbury Park station.

7. Football intelligence.

8. Heavy police presence outside certain public houses on match days.

9. Perception of 'nuisance tactics' being used against some supporters, e.g. confiscating tickets, causing people to miss matches.

10. Attitude of some police officers on duty around Emirates Stadium.

11. Ticket touting.

12. Policing away in Europe.

Some (unedited) quotes from AISA members that were forwarded to the police (as here without names) and which have been discussed with them:

"I occasionally have a problem exiting the ground from `S` (exit, down the stairs, then through the road opposite to Holloway Road). I happen to be disabled, and apparently there is an agreement that 'we' are allowed to walk this route due to our circumstances. There have been  occasions where it appears the team policing this exit route have not been  informed, and refuse exit, thereby causing a long walk up the hill, being  partly crushed by the crowds, and causing some discomfort. I have seen people on crutches and wheelchair bound being directed this way."

"I live on Horsell Road, the end of which is blocked off by a police cordon after games. Usually, when I approach the barrier as a pedestrian and show proof of address, the officers let me through with no problem.  However, about 1/3rd of the time they flatly refuse to let residents through - and when asked why, either become rude, or offer the most ridiculous excuses. The inconsistency is annoying, could the Police make sure their officers are aware that they are supposed to allow residents through this cordon?  Most of the time it works fine, but the attitude of the officers that refuse to let people through, really leaves a bad impression of the good work that the police do in the area on matchdays."

"Not every football fan is a hooligan (!) but this certainly appears to be the opinion of most of the police officers I've encountered at football matches. Walking back down Tottenham High Road with a beer in hand after the Carling Cup semi-final, we were roughed up by two policemen jumping out and grabbing our beers and throwing them away, crushing the cans and shouting 'are you resisting?!' We were unaware that we weren't allowed to drink on the High Road and a 'excuse me gents, no beers allowed'" would have us putting them straight in the bin. Were the police psyched up for a row with it being AFC V Spurs, and disappointed that there was no trouble."

"I must say that I thought that the policing for the Carling Cup semi-final home leg vs Spurs was the most aggressive, unsympathetic and confrontational that I have seen in 35 years of coming to Arsenal. I was prevented from exiting the ramp way down towards The Armoury and when I tried to ask why the police became aggressive and told me to go over the South Bridge. When I told him that was where the Spurs fans were being taken he said 'Just go over the South Bridge' and pushed me in the chest. Tempted as I was to get his number I really didn't fancy being hauled off to a police van for a couple so I just left it. I know Spurs fans can be a nasty lot but I have to say that the attitude of the police that night was a disgrace."

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