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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 November, 2004, 18:41 GMT
Cardiff fans bitten by police dogs
Members of the Valley Rams supporters group
The fans say they were bitten by police dogs
A group of Cardiff City fans say they may make an official complaint after three of them were bitten by police dogs while being escorted home after Saturday's match at Reading.

The members of the Valley Rams supporters' group said they did nothing to provoke the use of the dogs.

But Gwent Police said they needed assistance after a disturbance broke out when the supporters' bus stopped near the Severn Bridge.

No arrests were made.

Valley Rams Treasurer Martin Jenkins, 43, said people in his coach became alarmed at the size of the police escort as they travelled along the M4.

He said they were met by 12 police vans, a police helicopter and dog handlers at the Second Severn Crossing.

He said: "We felt like terrorists. We did not know what was going on.

Member of the Valley Rams supporters group with bite injuries
Some Cardiff fans were bitten by dogs in the incident

"There were blue flashing lights on every bridge. It must have cost a fortune."

Mr Jenkins, who lives in Aberdare, south Wales, said he decided to pull over at the tolls because he thought that was a safe place to stop and to find out why the convoy was being escorted.

He said that when he approached an officer he was attacked by a police dog, which bit him on the wrist.

Two people who tried to help him were also bitten, he said.

He said the club had good relations with police liaison officers and that he had only wanted to talk to officers at the scene.

He said: "I don't think they handled it well.

"If we had trashed anywhere, do you think we would stop on the motorway and ask them what's the matter?"

Mr Jenkins, a fitter at Tower colliery at Hirwaun, said the club's coaches had not visited any service stations during its journey.

He said the supporters' club would have a meeting with Cardiff City FC's security officer on Monday to discuss the events.

In a statement, Gwent Police said one coach in the convoy had stopped just after the Second Severn Crossing tolls at around 1900 GMT and some supporters had stepped out.

'Police dog kicked'

The statement said: "Officers attempted to persuade these persons to return to the coach as there were safety implications.

"A public order situation arose and during this incident one identified supporter was bitten by a police dog.

"He refused medical attention at this time. It is believed that some unidentified supporters may also have been bitten. No arrests were made.

"During this incident one police officer was injured and a police dog was kicked to the body."

Mr Jenkins said he did not understand how police could claim that an officer and a dog had been hurt.

He said: "Why wasn't anybody arrested? Striking a police officer is serious incident?"




SEE ALSO:
Soccer yobs' trip to target fans
28 Oct 04 |  South East Wales
Football fans clash with police
27 Oct 04 |  England


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