Headingley trouble at Pakistan vs Afghanistan game investigated by West Yorkshire Police
Last Updated: 03/07/19 10:34pm
West Yorkshire Police has launched an investigation into incidents of disorder at Pakistan's game against Afghanistan at Headingley in the Cricket World Cup on Saturday.
Police officers were initially called to Headingley following a disturbance outside the ground involving a large group of fans.
Two men, both aged 22 and from London, were arrested on suspicion of affray. One was later released without charge and the other was bailed pending further enquiries.
A 17-year-old male from Birmingham was later arrested on suspicion of assault after going on the pitch. He was released without charge.
The investigation will now focus on the most serious offences to try to identify those responsible, with police keen to hear from anyone who has any further information.
Following meetings between the ICC and West Yorkshire Police it has been agreed that there will be an "enhanced police presence" at Headingley for Thursday's game between Afghanistan and West Indies, as well as the match between Sri Lanka and India on Saturday.
Superintendent Chris Bowen, who heads operational policing for Leeds District, said: "We now have a better overall impression of the incidents that took place in and around the ground before, during and after the match, and recognise the need for there to be a full and comprehensive criminal investigation into those offences.
"While these were isolated incidents involving a relative minority of people attending the event, the scenes that were witnessed were completely unprecedented at a cricket match.
"The law-abiding majority will have been understandably concerned at what occurred and we need to send a very clear message that behaviour such as this is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
"While we did not receive any direct reports of people being injured, the footage that is out there clearly shows people being assaulted during these incidents.
"We would like to hear from anyone who was a victim and from anyone who witnessed any incidents, particularly if they have uncut original source phone footage that could assist in identifying incidents or offenders.
"We have detectives from Leeds District CID carrying out extensive enquiries to build up a full picture of these incidents and pinpoint the suspects, and we will look to further public appeals to identify them as necessary.
"Crowd trouble is relatively unheard of in cricket, and, as such, Saturday's match had been assessed by us as low risk and suitable for a security operation led by stewards without any police presence in the ground.
Pakistan call for probe into fan trouble
Pakistan call for police investigation into fan trouble during Afghanistan match
"We have now reviewed the policing arrangements for the coming matches this week at Headingley, in consultation with the Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the ICC men's Cricket World Cup, and an enhanced police presence and stewarding will be in place to ensure people attending can have a safe and enjoyable time."
Steve Elworthy, ICC men's Cricket World Cup 2019 managing director said: "We welcome and fully support a police investigation into the events at Headingley. We will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour that spoils the enjoyment for the majority of fans.
"The ICC men's Cricket World Cup has been a fantastic celebration of cricket so far and it would be a shame if these isolated incidents, that are not common in our sport, overshadow this."
Pakistan's foreign ministry had called for a police investigation into the incidents at the Afghanistan game, where a plane was also seen flying over Headingley showing political messages during the match.
Anyone with any information or any relevant original source footage that could assist the investigation is asked to email leedsdistrict.DIU@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk or contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting Operation Deeppond.