Dawn raids in Notts and Derbyshire after football violence

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Some 17 men have been arrested early this morning following violent disorder involving football fans.

Arrests were made in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire after fans broke out into a brawl at The Major Oak pub in Pelham Street, Nottingham on Saturday, March 19.

All of them were wither Nottingham Forest or Notts County fans, and both teams had been defeated in their respective matches on that day, but Nottinghamshire Police officers said they are investigating whether the fight had been organised between the two groups.

Officers carried out arrests in Arnold, Aspley, Beeston, Bulwell, Carlton, Cinderhill, Clifton, Strelley and Top Valley, as well as Derby, Ilkeston and South Normanton.

A total of 17 men, 11 Forest supporters and six Notts County fans, aged between 19 and 28, have been taken to separate custody suites in the city and the county, where they will be questioned by detectives throughout the day about their involvement in the disorder.

Chief Superintendent Mark Holland said: "This is a very significant operation as we investigate the circumstances of a very disturbing violent incident allegedly involving rival groups of so-called football supporters in Nottingham.

"This incident occurred in a pub that was busy with people who were there to enjoy a night out and suddenly found themselves in the midst of a terrifying situation such as this.

"One of the lines of enquiry we are looking it is that this was a pre-arranged fight and not a spontaneous coming together of rival groups. It is only by sheer good fortune that no one was seriously injured."

He added: "We have always had a very direct and robust approach to football-related violence and disorder. Only last week, three Notts County fans were dealt with at court for the disorder that occurred in the recent game at Mansfield Town. Two of those individuals were banned from all football grounds in the country for three years.

"Football does not provide any acceptable excuse for violence and we will continue to use the CCTV and witness evidence at our disposal to identify and arrest those suspected of taking part in this disorder, with the aim of bringing them before the courts to be dealt with appropriately.

If anyone saw the incident or was in the pub at the time of incident and has not yet come forward and spoken to police, please call us on 101 and quote incident number 682 of 19 March.