Police respond to claims of ‘pepper spray’ being used on fans

Written by Abbey Donoghue

Police have been accused of using pepper spray to stop disruption between rival fans at the opening game of the Championship football season.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have responded to the claims disorder between rival fans after the Wigan Athletic v Preston North End.

The match ended in a goalless draw, with Preston playing with 10-men after Ched Evans was sent-off in the 80th minutes.

Videos have circulated on social media that show trouble stirring on the bridge near the stadium on Saturday 30 July.

A line of police officers are in the crowd, followed by a number of members of the crowd walking away and rubbing their eyes.

GMP commented: “We are aware of a video showing our officers responding to some disorder between fans after the Wigan Athletic game against Preston North End.

“This clip is a snapshot of events and shows trained officers using tactics to manage a challenging situation.

“It is too early to know the full context at this time and – as with any event – it will be part of our wider debrief of the day’s operation.”

Police and prison staff are legally allowed to use PAVA spray in the United Kingdom.

It is similar to pepper spray and is dispensed in a liquid stream.

It is used to stop reduce a person’s capacity for resistance, without unnecessarily prolonging their discomfort.