'Baton attack' on fans

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A POLICE Complaints Authority investigation has been launched into claims that a peaceful gathering of football fans - including a retired police inspector - was brutally broken up by officers with batons.

The complaints about the Greater Manchester Police's behaviour come from a number of professionals, including an RAF corporal and a police special constable.

The retired Northumbria Police inspector, who suffered a gash to his head in the melee, said he would never have believed it if his son had told him what happened. "But I now know from my own experience that it is possible to be attacked by the police without doing anything at all," he said.

The incident happened when officers moved in to clear a pub in Manchester's Piccadilly Plaza, following the tense FA Cup semi-final between Newcastle United and Sheffield United at Old Trafford on 5 April.

Both teams' supporters have reported similar stories of police in balaclavas allegedly lashing out indiscriminately with batons.