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Three police officers reprimanded after taking part in football pitch invasion

Fans spilled on to the pitch at full-time (John Walton/PA)
Fans spilled on to the pitch at full-time (John Walton/PA)

Three police officers have been reprimanded after taking part in a football pitch invasion while off-duty.

The Dorset Police colleagues were caught spilling onto the pitch along with a large crowd of Bournemouth fans after their side sealed a return to the Premier League on May 3.

Fans could be seen letting off flares and surrounding the players and staff in celebration on the Vitality Stadium turf.

One of the officers involved is said to be a superintendent, The Sun newspaper reported.

AFC Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest – Sky Bet Championship – Vitality Stadium
Flares were set off as fans surrounded the players (John Walton/PA)

The force said the all three were “asked to reflect on their involvement”, with a message sent to other staff reiterating the “high standards of behaviour” expected of them.

It comes after a number of recent pitch invasions at matches, including one in which Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp was headbutted by Nottingham Forest fan Robert Biggs at the end of the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final second leg.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman also called a pitch invasion at Manchester City’s ground “concerning” after Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen was reportedly assaulted as home supporters celebrated.

It is illegal for fans to go onto the playing area, without lawful authority or lawful excuse, contrary to the Football (Offences) Act 1991.

A Dorset Police statement said: “On Tuesday May 3 2022 AFC Bournemouth played Nottingham Forest and secured promotion to the Premier League, which led to a pitch invasion by a large number of AFC Bournemouth fans following the final whistle.

“An internal report was subsequently made to the Force’s Professional Standards Department that stated off-duty Dorset Police officers were involved in the pitch invasion.

“Three police officers were identified and were asked to reflect on their involvement.

“Following the game, a message was issued internally reminding all officers and staff of the high standards of behaviour expected of them both in and out of work and reiterating that no matter how exciting it is for their team to win promotion to the Premier League, they must not be involved in pitch invasions.”

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