Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Police 'failed to stop' Barnsley bar brawl

South Yorkshire Police have been accused of not acting quickly enough to stop football supporters damaging a Barnsley pub.

Trouble broke out at Harborough Hills Working Men's Club on Vernon Street before Barnsley's game with Hull City at Oakwell on 30 October.

The club's steward claimed police were late entering the premises.

South Yorkshire Police said officers could not get into the club as fans streamed out as a fire alarm went off.

Fans left furniture in pieces, lighting ripped out and smashed glass littering the floor, club steward David O'Halloran said.

'Chandeliers swung on'

He said: "I'd already told police three times I wanted no more fans in and within half an hour we got hit with an extra 150 supporters. That's why it all kicked off.

"There were glass tables going everywhere, chandeliers getting swung on and ripped out of the ceiling."

Mr Hartley said he pressed the panic button for the police to come in, but said there was no response.

Supt David Hartley of South Yorkshire Police denied officers had ignored warning signs.

He said: "Intelligence had given no indication that Hull City fans were likely to cause trouble.

"If we'd expected that this group of individuals was likely to cause the scale of damage that they did... they wouldn't have been allowed to go to the club."

Mr Hartley said police officers had attempted to enter the club to deal with the trouble but were prevented by a flow of people trying to leave because a fire alarm had gone off and people were leaving the building en-masse.

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