'Nuclear barriers' used at Plymouth Argyle match

Police put up the barriers during the game Police said it was the first time the barriers had been used at a game by the force

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Barriers used during nuclear or biological incidents have been deployed to disperse rival football fans leaving a match, police said.

About 150 officers, and mounted police from South Wales, were at the game at Home Park between Plymouth Argyle and Bristol Rovers.

A police spokesman said it was a category B match, which carried a "potential threat of disorder".

Officers used the barriers to allow fans to leave quickly and safely.

A spokesman from Devon and Cornwall Police said it was the first time the force had used them at a game.

He said the barriers, which are metal and about 15ft (4.5m) high and 65ft (20m) long, would help them clear fans from the area outside Home Park stadium.

After the match, Acting Supt Brendan Brookshaw, said: "Everything went according to plan with a really good crowd. Just two people were arrested.

"We need to evaluate it fully, but my initial reaction was the barriers were very successful. There was no violence and no disorder in the area where we usually get problems."

The barriers are stored in Exeter and were put up during the game.

On Wednesday, three police officers were injured when fans invaded the pitch after a match between Bristol City and Bristol Rovers.

In March, another three people were arrested and a police officer suffered a minor injury at Home Park following a match between Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City.

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