See e-mail below to Nottingham Police.
If anyone else saw this incident and has any comments can you encourage them to e-mail their views to firstname.lastname@example.org – I think policing of this nature is out of order and we should make our views heard.
Subject: Nottingham Forest vs Sunderland
I am writing to complain about an incident that took place at the above game on Saturday 9 August.
Midway through the first half during a pause in play the Sunderland fans were undertaking a protest about the high ticket prices imposed upon them for the game – at £27 the price was high by Premiership standard let alone Nationwide and is only been charged by Forest for games against Sunderland & Derby this year.
This protest took the form of people standing up, waving ticket stubs and singing “Stand up if you’ve been ripped off”. As far as I could tell this was good humoured and no-one’s behaviour seemed to justify what happened next.
A large group of stewards and police waded into the crowd and pulled out one individual. What exactly he was alleged to have been doing, I don’t know. He may have been struggling slightly as he was lead away in an arm lock but this couldn’t possibly justify a large group of officers jumping on top of him, slamming him to the floor face first and handcuffing him. One officer – whose police number was 8 – was clearly seen by myself and many other fans to literally ‘put the boot in’. This was clearly out of order. What’s more he looked pleased with himself afterwards.
If people are misbehaving then they should clearly be removed but in my view the reaction here was simply over the top.
When people tried to complain about the incident the other officers seemed disinterested and I heard one say sarcastically that “my heart bleeds”. No-one took the concerns of dozens of decent minded Sunderland fans seriously – hence my e-mail.
I’d like an explanation of why such heavy handed tactic were employed. What’s more the police almost flattened a number of other fans, including some in wheel chairs in the process. I know it was a hot day and tempers may have frayed easily but such behaviour right in front of the travelling fans is only going to make matters worse. In different circumstances things could have easily escalated as a result of the behaviour of your officers.
I look forward to hearing from you.