Police Announce Investigation Into Disorder At Headingley

The incidents took place during Pakistan's cricket World Cup match with Afghanistan on Saturday (29/6).

West Yorkshire Police has launched an investigation into incidents of disorder inside and outside Headingley cricket ground during the match between Pakistan and Afghanistan at the weekend.

Officers were initially called to the stadium, in St Michael’s Lane, shortly before noon on Saturday (29/6), to a disturbance outside the ground involving a large group, with reports of some people climbing over a wall and assaulting staff on a gate.

Officers attended and dispersed the crowd without incident and remained on patrol in the area.

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.

Further incidents were reported during and after the game. A 17-year-old male from Birmingham was arrested on suspicion of assault after going on the pitch. He was later released without charge.

Following an initial review of CCTV and mobile phone footage posted to social media, an investigation has been launched to focus on the most serious offences and identify those responsible.

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.

“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.”

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