Police threat to withdraw from match-days at Arsenal would cause ‘chaos’

08:00 31 July 2014

Scotland Yard can no longer afford to pay for policing outside of the ground

Scotland Yard can no longer afford to pay for policing outside of the ground


A Met plan to pull out of policing Arsenal matches could cause “utter chaos” on the borough’s streets, it has been warned.

The club pay for officers inside the Emirates Stadium but the force says it can no longer fund the stewarding of 50,000 fans travelling to and from Finsbury Park, Highbury and Islington and ­Arsenal stations.

Islington Council’s chief executive, Lesley Seary, even went to Scotland Yard with her Haringey counterpart to try to avert the crisis, but the town hall refused to reveal the outcome of the talks.

The force wants clubs in the capital to cough up the cost of all match-day work done by officers, who, they say, would be better placed in the community.

Terry Stacy, chairman of Highbury Safer Neighbourhoods Team, suggested that the club should cover the cost if the police pull out.


He said: “This is extremely concerning. Police play an important role in stewarding and getting 50,000 people from our stations to the stadium through the streets of Highbury. If would be utter chaos if they stopped.

“It’s a long-running debate about who should pay and I am not having a go at the club ­because they do great work in the community, but these clubs make a lot of money and I think they should contribute to policing outside the stadium.”

Arsenal’s yearly turnover is more than £200million and it pays over £3.5million, more than any other club in England, in business rates for the stadium.

The first Premier League game at the Gunners’ ground this season takes place on August 16 against Crystal Palace.

Commander Peter Terry, from the Met’s specialist crime and ­operations unit, said: “For over a year now the MPS has been trying to get London football clubs to sign the Special Police Services Agreement which was drawn up to ensure football clubs bear the cost and any liability incurred for officers provided to police their football matches. Some clubs have already signed up to the agreement, however a large number have not yet signed and the new football season is fast ­approaching.

“Historically, officers from across London have been taken out of their boroughs to support policing at football matches, often many miles away from their local communities. Those officers would be better placed within their own wards and neighbourhoods to support ­local policing needs.”

A spokesman for the council said: “Match-day policing is a matter for the Met Police.”

n Arsenal have lost a High Court battle over a curb on the number of concerts – like the recent Bruce Springsteen and Muse shows – they can hold at the Emirates Stadium.

The Premier League giant had applied to double the number of gigs from three to six.

Islington Council rejected the application and a planning inspector dismissed the club’s appeal in January this year.

Arsenal argued at the High Court that there was a “clear error” in the decision-making process.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 09:00
Fergus conducting the English National Opera. Picture: Tom Bowles/English National Opera

Anyone can enjoy opera. Shrewsbury Town FC is proof of that.

Fri, 17:05
Year 6 pupils interview the school's Site Manager, Robbie Robinson, about his memories of the Apollo missions

Pupils at Vittoria Primary School, Islington, are keen to talk to people who remember the Apollo space missions and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon for a history project.

Fri, 14:28
Prince Philip presents Dr Alasdair Harris with the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award

The founder of an Islington-based charity was this week presented with the 2015 Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award for contributions to marine conservation.

Fri, 12:30
Former Dragons' Den star Doug Richard arrives at the Old Bailey, London, for a plea and case management hearing after he was accused of child sex charges. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A former Dragons’ Den star from Islington this morning denied paying a 13-year-old girl for sex after meeting her on a “Sugar Daddy” website.

Fri, 11:30
Handing in the petition against the closure of Caledonian Road Station: Cllr Paul Convery, Cllr Claudia Webbe, Jennette Arnold AM, Cllr Rakhia Ismail, Cllr Paul Smith, Cllr Una O’'Halloran, and Cllr Diarmaid Ward

The fight to keep Caledonian Road Station open continues on Thursday.

Fri, 09:33
London Ambulance Service has been recommended for special measures following a CQC report

A damning report by health inspectors has revealed a culture of “harassment and bullying” in London’s ambulance service and called for it to be placed into special measures.

Fri, 07:00
Cllr Andy Hull

Jobs will be lost as a result of the budget cuts announced in Wednesday’s Spending Review, a councillor has said.

Thu, 15:52
Ashley Walters at the launch of the Radio 1 and 1Xtra Academy at Stoke Newington School in 2012. Picture: Carmen Valino

Rapper and actor Ashley Walters will appear at crown court over two accusations of threatening behaviour and one of racially aggravated harassment in Upper Street’s Hilton Hotel on May 3.

Most read news


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder