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AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons policing costs

Policing costs for MK Dons game at AFC Wimbledon nearly six times home side’s average

Figures obtained from the Metropolitan Police show that a staggering £42,388.14 was spent on policing AFC Wimbledon’s home game with MK Dons in March.

The information, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, highlighted that the match day costs were nearly six times the usual amount for a game at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.

In stark contrast, it cost Metropolitan Police £7,530.72 to cover the Dons’ home game against Northampton Town three days prior.

A Metropolitan Police Football Unit spokesman said: “Policing levels for football matches are based on the intelligence and risk category for each particular match.

“The AFC Wimbledon vs MK Dons match on 14 March was a category ‘B’ match and an appropriate and proportionate policing plan was put in place to reflect this.

“Typically, most AFC Wimbledon matches are category ‘A’ matches and policing levels are adjusted accordingly.

“There was one man arrested, Alex Makel, 20, of Roeburn Crescent, Milton Keynes, during the match for a public order offence and he will appear on trial at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on 12 May after initially pleading not guilty on 30 March.”

Ahead of the match, AFC Wimbledon chief executive Erik Samuelson spoke about making sure the fixture would not be overshadowed by negative headlines amid the intense animosity between the two clubs.

Such was the fear of ugly scenes before the evening kick-off that the match was deemed as much of a security risk as West Ham’s home game against Chelsea, which took place in front of 57,000 fans a week earlier.

More than 200 police and stewards were on duty for the first ever clash between the sides in south west London, with AFC selling tickets on a one-per-person basis in order to keep segregation under control between the two sets of fans.

Only 650 tickets were made available to the visiting support, who had to travel to the ground in designated coaches so their entry could be managed by police and stewards.

Fortunately, the pre-match worries did not come to fruition as AFC celebrated victory over their bitter rivals with goals from Jake Reeves and Lyle Taylor sealing a historic 2-0 win.

Image courtesy of Graham c99, with thanks.

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