Police launch investigation into Doncaster Rovers fans who abused disabled Rotherham supporter
Police have launched a hate crime investigation into two Doncaster Rovers fans who abused a disabled Rotherham United supporter.
Two people were filmed in the away end at Saturday’s South Yorkshire derby mimicking the repetitive ‘stimming’ movements of an autistic Millers’ supporter and laughing and gesturing towards the club’s disabled supporters section.
After being indentified to both clubs and facing a ban from football, South Yorkshire Police have now announced they are probing the incident captured in the video as a hate crime.
Acting Chief Inspector Natalie Gilmour said: "Hate crime will not be tolerated and we are working with both football clubs to progress the investigation and bring those responsible to justice.
"We would encourage any victim of hate crime to come forward. We take all reports seriously and work with partners to provide a host of support options for victims.
"If you witnesses a hate crime, please report it immediately in as much detail as possible. Details such as; times, locations and suspect descriptions are all vital to support an investigation."
A force spokesman added: “We are aware of images circulating on social media that appear to depict two men abusing a disabled man at the Rotherham United v Doncaster Rovers fixture on Saturday.”
Anyone with information relating to the incident should report it by calling 101 or visiting the SYP online portal at: www.southyorkshire.police.uk. The reference number is: 14/133663/21.
The Rotherham supporter, who has not been named, has been promised a ‘VIP experience’ by Rovers when the clubs meet in the return fixture next year.
Rovers said earlier this week that they had identified the individuals concerned and will ‘act accordingly.’
Club Doncaster chief operating officer Shaun Lockwood said on Twitter: “Quick update re the video. Thanks to all who sent info, we believe we have identified the individuals.
"The club will act accordingly.
“We're also going to make contact with the Rotherham United supporter to offer them a VIP experience at the return fixture.”
Outraged supporters of both Rovers and United have called for the pair to be banned from matches after they were filmed rocking backwards and forwards – mimicking ‘stimming’ – which is where a person with disabilities displays repetitive gestures such as rocking or hand flapping to help them cope in stressful or noisy environments.