Football Banning Orders totalling 81 years have been issued to 22 people who committed offences during a pitch invasion at Priestfield Stadium in April.

A large number of spectators ran onto the field of play immediately following the match between Gillingham FC and Rotherham United on Saturday 30 April 2022, with fights and other forms of aggressive behaviour witnessed including the throwing of objects.

The disorder was investigated by Kent Police detectives from North Division CID with assistance from the force’s specialist football officers and colleagues from South Yorkshire Police.

On Thursday 8 and Friday 9 December, Football Banning Orders were issued by Medway magistrates to those who pleaded guilty to public order offences linked to the pitch invasion.

Superintendent Ray Quiller of Kent Police said: ‘There is absolutely no place in football or anywhere else in society for the type of violence and behaviour that occurred following this particular match. In the presence of genuine football supporters, including children, the actions of these individuals were totally unacceptable.

‘Football Banning Orders were introduced in the late 1980s to help improve safety at matches, and they remain an important power at our disposal despite there being far fewer incidents today than there were back then. I am pleased to see them given in the circumstances of this case and we will continue to seek these against offenders who act in this manner at football matches.

‘We are proud of the strong relationships we have with the football clubs across Kent and I hope these results demonstrate how seriously we take it when the actions of a mindless few put other people’s safety and wellbeing at risk.’

By Ed

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