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Palace fans launch official complaint against Sussex Police

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Crystal Palace fans have lodged an official complaint against Sussex Police following their treatment at the club’s trip to Brighton & Hove Albion in November 2017.

Instructing specialist solicitors to act on their behalf – Crystal Palace Supporters’ Trust (CPST) argue that Crystal Palace supporters who had caused no trouble were subject to “extremely coercive policing”.

The Trust say that the events at the fixture on 28th November, which included blanket ‘kettling’ and escorting of Palace fans, have significantly damaged supporters’ trust and confidence in Sussex Police.

The letter says: “The CPST request that the failures as outlined are investigated thoroughly and that those officers responsible for these foreseeable failures are appropriately disciplined.”

Superintendent Simon Nelson has also been criticised for spreading false accusations against Palace fans who, he claimed on his Twitter account, had brought knives and knuckledusters to the fixture – an allegation Sussex Police later admitted was false.

“There has never been a public explanation for the source of the incorrect information promulgated by Supt. Nelson both in the press release and then in his tweets,” CPST said.

“It is unacceptable for an officer, and a senior officer no less, to put forward very serious allegations without evidence to back them up.”

A Freedom of Information request, submitted by the Five Year Plan Palace fanzine, seeking answers about the allegations has yet to be answered – despite the statutory limit for a response having long expired.

CPST’s letter to Sussex Police’s Head of Professional Standards was submitted by ITN solicitors, who have represented supporters previously in actions against the police. The FSF also provided financial and practical support.

“The Trust would like to thank all the fans who came forward to share their stories, and to supporters, and the FSF who (along with the Trust) co-funded this action,” CPST said yesterday. “The Trust would also like to help FYP Fanzine for their support.”

Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this story.

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