BUSINESSES in Wrexham town centre have praised the policing operation on last weekend’s football derby day.
Members of the Wrexham Town Centre Forum said that business had not been hit hard by problems steming from Wrexham FC and Chester FC supporters last Saturday, with the town centre carrying on as usual.
There had been fears that residents would steer clear of the town centre due to the sheer volume of supporters and police around for the big game, but on the day these fears did not materialise.
Alex Jones, owner of Bank Bar on High Street, said: “We weren’t too badly affected by the derby match. People were not nervous about coming into town on the day which is credit to the police operation.
“As far as the evening was concerned, town is usually quiet the weekend after a Bank Holiday but in fact Liquid and Envy had 1,600 people through the doors on Saturday night, which would suggest the game had a positive effect.”
Kevin Critchley, manager of the Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre, said that it had felt like a normal Saturday for his retailers.
District police inspector for Wrexham town Mark Williams said: “It was our biggest policing operation since the last cross-border derby in 2008 and we cooperated fully with both clubs in relation to the ticketing.
“As far as the town centre is concerned, there was no backlash on Saturday night from the football.”
Insp Williams also condemned the actions of a minority of fans who caused trouble inside the Racecourse ground.
“In my opinion, the behaviour inside the ground from a small minority of the two sets of fans highlighted that we were correct to police it like we did.
“Some people went to the match with the sole thought that they wanted a degree of disorder and they were more focused on the opposition fans than the game.
“An investigation is ongoing into the banners that were unveiled by Wrexham fans and accusations of racist abuse from Chester supporters.
Three of the four supporters arrested on the day of the match have been charged by police, two for being drunk and disorderly and one for assault.
Marlene Roberts, of F. Jones food distributors, said the forum members would like to extend their thanks to North Wales Police for their handling of the derby match and for their continued good work in the town.