Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 12:12 UK

Police close in on football thugs

CCTV images of three men
Police are still trying to trace three men over an attack in September

A crackdown on violence against visiting football fans has been started in Southampton.

Hampshire Constabulary said there has been an increase in attacks since the start of the season.

Police want to track down a handful of people suspected of attacking rival supporters in Southampton on match-days.

Officers are working with the club and the Crown Prosecution Service to identify the culprits.

Ch Supt Matthew Greening said: "A few idiots who like to be considered to be Saints fans seem intent on finding any chance they can to attack rival fans even without any provocation or reason.

We know who many of these people are and we are going after them
Ch Supt Matthew Greening, Hampshire police

"We've had some nasty incidents at recent games and working with the club we are going to stop it.

"We know who many of these people are and we are going after them. We'll charge them with crimes where the evidence exists or work with the club to secure court or club bans against them."

One of the games being looked at is the match on Saturday 19 September against Yeovil.

Soon after the game at about 1700 BST a man, 38, and a 17-year-old boy were attacked at the Six Dials junction in the city.

Several men kicked and punched the victims to the ground and repeatedly kicked and stamped on them.

Five people have already been arrested over the incident and released on bail.

Police are still hunting three men captured on CCTV and are asking for anyone with information to contact them.

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