By Joe Tanner
Last update: 03/14/19 17:45
Police say that meetings with fan groups before the Manchester United match with Liverpool helped create "the safest atmosphere in 10 years".
Greater Manchester police match the commanding officer Collette Rose wrote a letter of thanks to the distance fans who attended the 0-0 at Old Trafford praising the fans for their behavior; as only an individual was arrested by force at the game.
Rose said, "We wanted an open and honest conversation about what fans thought about security.
"We invited the Liverpool and Manchester United fan groups for a frank conversation about the previous experiences of this event and what they thought could be done to improve security during the games.
"One of our soccer officers said it was the safest atmosphere in the Old Trafford that he has known in ten years of work, we are building on this, and it is important to get constant feedback."
In his message to the Liverpool fans, Rose also praised the "patience and understanding" for the detention 20 minutes from the final whistle.
The force also agreed to examine traffic problems for supporters absent at future derby matches.
1. This is a letter @gmpolice sent to supporters and others who worked alongside them and @MerseyPolice before the recent appointment between Man United and Liverpool. The tone and content capture both the collaborative approach and their respect for supporters. pic.twitter.com/bch7fFdfKg
– Tony Barrett (@TonyBarrett) 12 March 2019
Rose continued: "Our engagement with the fans on match days does not reach a large percentage of people, so this contact with the fan groups in advance is really important and means we can reach a much larger number of fans."
Recently there have been pitch invasions and fan unrest in some Premier League and EFL games.
Rose believes fans have a responsibility to call unfavorable fan behavior after a Birmingham City supporter has been jailed for punching Jack Grealish in the lead, while a fan invaded the field in the Arsenal game with the Manchester United last weekend.
"I think what we've seen is a couple of high-profile incidents: like society, police and football clubs, we have to make sure we label them as unacceptable behavior.
"There will always be people in society who want to take advantage of certain situations and let everyone else go down. Fans have a responsibility to call this behavior, it's the way we react to it that counts."