Man arrested after six police officers injured in Manchester United protest

A man, 26, has been arrested after six police officers were injured during a protest by Manchester United fans ahead of their match against Liverpool.

Around 100 fans broke into Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon to protest against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club. The demonstration then turned violent, with bottles, cans and barriers thrown at the police.

One officer sustained a fractured eye socket, another a facial wound, and a third was ‘dragged and kicked’ during the chaos, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.

The Force did not say what the man had been arrested on suspicion of, but noted that it was ‘reviewing all obtainable evidence’ to identify the organisers of the protest and those responsible for assaulting officers.

GMP assistant chief constable Nick Bailey, said today: ‘The behaviour shown at this protest was absolutely atrocious.

‘Officers were just trying to do their job and facilitate a peaceful protest, however a number of those present became hostile and aggressive towards officers and forced entry to the football grounds, making it very clear that this protest was not peaceful and ruining it for the majority of protesters who had not intended for the protest to become violent.’

Earlier today GMP told how one officer who was slashed in the face was lucky he didn’t lose sight in his eye. The injured officer, who is a police constable with around 20 years’ service, remains in a lot of pain and is currently off work.

Stu Berry, Chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: ‘Our brave colleague went to work yesterday to keep the people of Greater Manchester safe – and he ended up coming under attack. He is incredibly lucky not to have lost the sight in an eye.

‘This is not right. Police officers are mothers, fathers, husbands, wives and partners. They are sons and daughters. They are human beings who should be able to go home to their families in one piece at the end of their shifts. Not be rushed to hospital.

‘We are offering support to our injured colleague and will continue to do so as he recovers from his injuries.’

Mr Berry also said he had spoken to Acting Chief Constable Ian Pilling expressing the Federation’s concerns about the injury to the officer and another colleague, and seeking reassurance that in future staff will be adequately protected.

He added: ‘Nothing is more important that the safety of our police officers. We are incredibly experienced in Greater Manchester Police at facilitating peaceful protest but lessons from Old Trafford must be learned.

‘I am pleased to say I have a commitment from Acting Chief Constable Ian Pilling to fully review intelligence received and resources allocated around yesterday’s incident – and we wait for the outcome of that review.’

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