For many Reading supporters returning from watching the team’s stunning win over Southampton to go top of the Championship, the evening was marred by what was waiting for them at Reading Station.
Because Thames Valley Police were there in massive force, in scenes more reminiscent of policing the miner’s strike in the 80s than policing of football fans returning to their home station after a great night out. Estimates of numbers vary, but everyone who was there agrees that the show of force was totally disproportionate to the level of threat. We’re talking about approximately 40 police officers, in riot gear, deployed with numerous dogs and acting extremely aggressively. This was demonstrably over the top. We are talking here about Reading supporters, after all –Reading supporters who had a grand total of 5 supporters arrested at all away matches in the whole of the 2010/11 season (according to official Home Office statistics ); and the same Reading supporters who are praised for their behaviour by police forces and stadium managers across the country – for instance the Police Commander at Anfield who came onto STAR’s coaches to thanks Reading supporters for their behaviour, saying that they were the best-behaved set of supporters to visit the stadium.
Read the full article : http://thetilehurstend.sbnation.com/2012/04/14/police-intelligence-now-theres-an-oxymoron/