Police warning to troublemakers over Exeter matches

Mounted police in Exeter
Image caption About 400 officers were deployed when Exeter played Plymouth in April

Police have warned that anyone intending to cause trouble at two major football matches taking place in Exeter will be dealt with "robustly".

Exeter City is due to play Premiership team Liverpool in the Carling Cup at St James Park on Wednesday.

And on 30 August Exeter will host local rivals Plymouth Argyle in the Johnson Paint Trophy.

More than 20 people were arrested when violence broke out between fans of the two clubs at a match in November.

Match commander superintendent Chris Singer, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "We're working closely with Exeter City to make sure that supporters coming to both matches arrive, watch the match and leave safely.

'Hell-bent on disorder'

"I want to send out a clear message now that if there's anyone at the match or in the town intent on causing problems they will be dealt with robustly."

He warned that troublemakers faced a football banning order of up to 10 years.

PC Tim Prince, a football intelligence officer, said the police had been working closely with the football club to target individuals "hell-bent on causing disorder".

Exeter City said the Liverpool match was now sold out.

The club's chief executive, Julian Tagg, said: "As a club we have worked with the police in recent weeks.

"We want a safe game in a safe environment."

About 400 police officers were deployed for the match between Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle in Exeter in April and there were some stand-offs after the game.

It followed violence at a derby at Plymouth's Home Park ground in November when some fans criticised the police approach as being too "low-key".

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