‘HOOLIGAN DE­BATE IN PAR­LIA­MENT’

MP raises con­cerns after derby trou­ble

The Sentinel - - NEWS - Peter Smith [email protected]­plc.com

MP Ruth Smeeth has called for a de­bate on the ‘rise of foot­ball hooli­gan­ism’ in par­lia­ment in the af­ter­math of trou­ble at Port Vale.

The club is as­sess­ing up to £100,000 in dam­age in the Hamil Road away stand after a toi­let block was trashed, 150 seats were ripped up and a pub­lic ad­dress sys­tem was wrecked in the af­ter­math of their Check­a­trade Tro­phy tie against Stoke City un­der­21s.

Chair­man Nor­man Smuth­waite has re­vealed that the van­dal­ism has put Vale’s next home match, against Chel­tenham, in jeop­ardy.

Stafford­shire Po­lice have re­leased mo­bile phone footage of thugs break­ing win­dows in the toi­lets, and de­tails have been re­leased about 11 men ar­rested.

And yes­ter­day, se­nior of­fi­cers warned those in­volved in the trou­ble ‘not to make plans for the week­end’ be­cause po­lice ‘were com­ing for them’ Ruth Smeeth, left, the Labour MP for Stoke-on-trent North, raised the is­sue dur­ing a Busi­ness of the House ses­sion at West­min­ster. She said: “On Tues­day night in my con­stituency there was sig­nif­i­cant vi­o­lence at the away end of the Port Vale and Stoke City derby foot­ball match.

“I thank the po­lice and emer­gency ser­vices for their work. Can we have a de­bate in Gov­ern­ment time on the rise of foot­ball hooli­gan­ism in parts of our coun­try?”

Leader of the House of Com­mons, An­drea Lead­som, en­cour­aged Ruth to take up her con­cerns with the Depart­ment for Dig­i­tal, Cul­ture, Me­dia and Sport next week.

She said: “Any rise in foot­ball hooli­gan­ism is ab­so­lutely un­ac­cept­able. It used to be a prob­lem in the past, and we do not want it to come back again.

“Depart­ment for Dig­i­tal, Cul­ture, Me­dia and Sport ques­tions are next Thurs­day, and I en­cour­age the hon­ourable Lady to raise it with Min­is­ters then.”

CRACK­DOWN: Po­lice out in force after the game.

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