Minister hits out after Dearne football flare arrests

MP Damian Green
MP Damian Green

Policing minister Damian Green has hit out at football fans who smuggle flares into stadiums – after two Dearne men were banned after being involved in an incident at a game.

A 17-year-old from Kilnhurst was charged with throwing a flare onto the pitch at Loftus Road when Sheffield Wednesday played Queens Park Rangers in August.

A 19-year-old from Mexborough was also arrested but released without charge.

Both have been banned from attending future Sheffield Wednesday matches.

MP Mr Green said: “Football fans might see images of football grounds in other parts of Europe full of smoke and light caused by pyrotechnic devices and think they create a good atmosphere – but they do not. Flares are very dangerous and can cause severe injuries. A fatal incident in Bolivia this year showed just what might happen.”

South Yorkshire Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Andy Holt, the national lead on football policing, said: “The increase in the use of pyrotechnics at football matches is a concern because they present a serious risk to supporters.”