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Violence before Lincoln City match prompts The Ritz pub to step up security

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: October 11, 2012

 Police outside The Ritz in High Street, Lincoln

Police outside The Ritz in High Street, Lincoln

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A popular pre-match drinking venue is to employ door staff after trouble flared before a Lincoln City match.

The Imps were due to face Luton Town on October 6, a fixture police deemed "low risk".

But intelligence on the day suggested several Luton football hooligans were travelling to the city intent on disorder.

Staff levels were increased but violence erupted between rival supporters at The Ritz pub in High Street.

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Tables and chairs were upended and broken glass lay on pavements.

The Ritz was forced to shut its doors for around two hours and as a result of the trouble will employ door staff for future matches.

"The Ritz has always allowed football supporters in and there has never been trouble before," said Eddie Gershon, a Wetherspoons spokesman.

"However, for future Lincoln City matches we will now have door staff working on our doors.

"This fight lasted for a few minutes and in that time a number of glasses, chairs and stools were thrown.

"Customers in the pub took cover and those who were able to left the pub.

"The pub closed and reopened at 3pm once it had been cleared up."

A 35-year-old man from North Hykeham was arrested on suspicion of breaching a football banning order and some Luton Town fans were issued with Section 27 direction to leave notices.

The violence caused traffic tailbacks along the High Street as police vans and dog units tried to prevent trouble at other pubs.

Lincolnshire Police spokesperson Amy Burge said: "The fixture was classed as low risk but on the day of the game we received intelligence that a large number of Luton football hooligans were travelling to the match.

"We boosted our staffing and met the supporters off the train and escorted them to the pub where there was later a clash.

"Officers arrived on the scene quickly and escorted supporters to the stadium and then back to the train station after the game."

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  • Chas24  |  October 12 2012, 4:40PM

    "We boosted our staffing and met the supporters off the train and escorted them to the pub where there was later a clash. The police have induced an incitement to violence by this action, whilst in the pub the supporters will not be consuming orange juice and playing tiddlywinks.

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  • jamesaway  |  October 11 2012, 9:29PM

    It's a shame to have to admit it, but the PROACTIVE Police team were not on the ball. Maybe a 'free kick' is required!!

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  • redimp45  |  October 11 2012, 3:10PM

    The fixture was classed as low risk? well the intelligence team are not very intelligent. Violence follows Luton everywhere they go wether it be through reputation or fact, home supporters around the country see Luton as trouble. I live in Cambridge and when Luton visit there are police every where.

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