Nine held over racist football chants
Wednesday 25 January 2012
Nine men were arrested today by police investigating suspected racist chanting by football fans.
Police received reports of a group of Charlton Athletic supporters singing racist songs on a train following their FA Cup tie at Fulham on January 7.
Officers from British Transport Police (BTP) and the Metropolitan Police, accompanied by Charlton Athletic officials, visited homes in Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Bromley, all in south east London, early today and arrested nine men.
Detective Inspector Ashley Cooper, leading the BTP investigation, said the suspects, aged from 20-30, were taken to a north London police station and are helping police with their inquiries.
"We launched Operation Midas after a group of men, who we believe to be Charlton Athletic supporters, boarded a train at Putney and were heard chanting racist songs - something which was both offensive and extremely intimidating for other passengers on board.
"My team of detectives have worked quickly to gather evidence and, by working closely with Charlton Athletic FC, coupled with excellent CCTV footage, intelligence reports and statements from witnesses, we've been able to move swiftly and make this morning's arrests," he said.
Charlton Athletic chief executive Stephen Kavanagh said: "This kind of abhorrent behaviour is totally condemned by our club and, in addition to assisting the police, for our own part we will be seeking to ban for life anyone who is found guilty of racially offensive chanting.
"We have been a pioneer of anti-racism and anti-discrimination initiatives in football, so, although these are isolated incidents and in no way reflect the overwhelming majority of Charlton supporters, these recent arrests are saddening to all those who have worked so hard over many decades."
On Saturday, a 48-year-old man, believed to be a Chelsea fan, was arrested at London's Liverpool Street station on suspicion of racially abusing a woman hours after the club's Premier League match.
The arrest came shortly after a separate incident when a group of Chelsea supporters were allegedly embroiled in racist chanting on a train back from the 0-0 draw against Norwich City. No arrests have been made in connection with that incident.
'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
First-time buyers in London 'need to earn at least £77,000'
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy