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.
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Germanwings crash: Captain of doomed plane was only 'on board because he changed job to spend more time with his children'
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
The male and female faces thought to be the epitome of beauty, according to British people
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Germanwings plane crash: Video shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz learning to fly as a teenager
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state