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Police: We're sorry we said there were weapons at Albion match, we were wrong

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Palace fans let off smoke flares during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Crystal Palace at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton and Hove. 28 Nov 2017..Editorial use only. No merchandising. For Football images FA

POLICE bosses have issued an apology after saying football fans were carrying knifes and knuckledusters at last week’s Albion versus Palace match.

The force has now said no weapons were recovered by officers at the match last Tuesday.

In a strongly worded statement following the Premier League clash, Chief Inspector Simon Nelson said the match had signalled a “return to the dark days of football”.

He said: “We are aware that a significant number of people attempted to enter the ground with pyrotechnics, knives and knuckledusters, which were found following efforts to gain access through fire exit doors in the south stand.”

But neither Brighton and Hove Albion or Crystal Palace have said that weapons were discovered.

Crystal Palace fans have pushed for proof of weapons but none was provided, however Sussex Police maintained that weapons had been found and told a reporter that they were now evidence

Then yesterday Chief Inspector Simon Nelson was on Twitter telling a Crystal Palace fanzine that Brighton and Hove Albion had found the weapons.

He wrote: “Please contact @OfficialBHAFC as it was their staff who found those items in the away end of the stadium.”

But The Argus understands the club had not found any weapons and has not been party to any claims that they were found either inside or outside the ground.

Sussex Police claim information about the weapons was logged by an officer but the force has not made clear where the information came from.

The police statement which told the press and public that knuckle dusters and knives were taken to the ground was issued at 1.33pm on the afternoon following the game.

A total of six people were arrested in connection with the match. One man from Portslade was charged with failing to comply with a football banning order. And three more have been charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress. These three were from Horley, St Leonards and Worthing.

No arrests appear were made in relation to any knives or knuckledusters.

The police apology, issued last night, said: “The reference to weapons being found discarded at the stadium following the Brighton v Crystal Palace match on November 28 was based on information logged by our officers on the night and done so in good faith.

“Subsequently, it has been established that no such items were physically recovered at the stadium or in the city.

“We accept that this information was incorrect and the tweet published earlier today (December 7) by one of our officers was wrong.

“Sussex Police apologises to both clubs and their supporters.”

Last night the police said that they would not make any further comment.


Source: The Argus