The first derby at the London Stadium is set to provide a stiff test for security, but police will be present, as David Ironmonger reports.
West Ham face Chelsea on Wednesday night in the EFL Cup in a tie that will put the much-criticised stadium’s security under further scrutiny.
Since West Ham moved into the stadium, safety fears have been a constant concern. With no police present in games due to a number of issues, including ‘radio problems’, there have been a series of crowd disturbances.
There have even been isolated instances of home supporters fighting amongst themselves. This has been a blow to The Hammers as they seek to present a fan-friendly image at their new home.
With a traditionally fierce rival coming to the London Stadium for the first time, the Metropolitan Police say their officers will be in attendance: “The MPS has a tactical solution for matches being held at the London Stadium which will allow the safe deployment of officers into the stadium, if required, to deal with any crime or disorder”, the force announced.
Both the security services, the clubs, and supporters will hope the statement eases fears around what has always been a keenly contested derby.