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Canterbury man arrested after Gillingham FC and Swindon Town FC fans clash following Sky Bet League One match

19 January 2014
by Joe Walker

A man from Canterbury was arrested yesterday as rival football fans clashed in Gillingham.

The 51-year-old was quizzed by police following the disturbance outside the town's train station.

He and another man were taken into custody following the Gills’ 2-0 win over Swindon Town.

Huge police presence in Gillingham High Street

Huge police presence in Gillingham High Street

Police were called at about 5pm as home supporters confronted away fans gathered at the entrance to the station.

Extra officers and a dog unit had been drafted in to help police the event and were forced to wade in and separate the rival groups.

No one was hurt and the away fans were eventually moved onto the train.

There had been a huge police presence inside and outside the ground during the match, with rivalry between the two sides dating back to the 1970s.

In 2012 police had to intervene to avoid a tense stand-off as the fans again clashed outside the town’s train station.

Speaking after the latest incident, Insp Joy Dean, from the Medway Community Safety Unit, said: “Kent Police was well-prepared for potential clashes between supporters from both sides. 

“This one disturbance just after the match was the only significant incident related to the football and was dealt with swiftly and robustly by officers, with no damage to property and no injuries to the public.”

The 51-year-old from Canterbury and an 18-year-old from Swindon were arrested on suspicion of public order offences.

They have been released on bail while officers make further enquiries.

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