THAMES Valley Police has made five arrests in as many weeks following Reading FC football matches, it has said.
The arrests cover a range of offences, with four having been made at Tuesday’s game between Reading and Bristol Rovers, and one taking place at the match with Swindon Town back in October.
A 26-year-old man from Bristol was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order in relation to racist abuse being shouted at the players during the Bristol Rovers match.
A 15-year-old boy and a 30-year-old man, both from Bristol, were arrested on suspicion of possession of a flare following the throwing of a flare from the upper stands into the lower seats during the same match.
A 31-year-old man, also from Bristol, was also arrested on suspicion of possession of a flare after an offender was found in possession of a flare while leaving the stadium.
A 19-year-old man from Newbury was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder following an incident at the Reading FC vs Swindon Town FC match at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Tuesday, October 10.
While the 15-year-old has been given a community resolution, the remaining four men have been released on police bail.
It comes just hours after Reading FC released a statement on Thursday, November 9, where the club addressed the use of flares directly.
It explained that it, along with all other clubs in the English Football League, is part of the Club Charter on Pyrotechnics.
As such, they explained that there was “a commitment to taking strong and decisive action against any fans found attempting to bring a banned item into a ground, or those who discharge pyrotechnics.”
It continued: “On Tuesday evening, thanks to the prompt reactions of our dedicated stewards and the exceptional work from senior safety and security staff at the club, a number of pyrotechnic-related incidents within the crowd were correctly and efficiently dealt with as the Royals hosted Bristol Rovers.
Courtesy of the swift but diligent work from a number of permanent and matchday staff, four visiting supporters who were involved in the igniting and throwing of pyrotechnics in the direction of the home fans and towards the field of play during the match were quickly identified using CCTV footage.”
While three pyrotechnic missiles were thrown during the match, the club confirmed that nobody suffered any injuries, including a man who was hit, but declined medical assistance.
They thanked home supporters, saying: “Pyrotechnics can be extremely dangerous and contravene all clubs’ ground regulations.
“We would like to thank all home supporters for not engaging in this extremely dangerous practice on Tuesday night.
However, Reading Football Club would like to take this opportunity to remind all supporters that the use of any pyrotechnic device is strictly prohibited within the Select Car Leasing Stadium and, as demonstrated this week, strong action will be taken in the event of any such devices being discharged.”