Bradford City backs campaign to highlight dangers of flares after three incidents at Bantams games this year (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford City backs campaign to highlight dangers of flares after three incidents at Bantams games this year
5:02pm Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in News
Bradford City is joining a national campaign to fight the rising problem of people letting off ‘dangerous’ smoke bombs at matches, as it was revealed there have been more than three flare incidents at the club’s games this year.
The League One club will display four of the eight posters issued by the Football League, Premier League and FA to highlight the dangers of pyrotechnics at football grounds.
Statistics from the UK Football Policing Unit show there were three flares let off during Bantams games this year up to October 31, and there was a further incident at the club’s away match at Rotherham last month.
At the time, Mark Neale, chairman of the Friends of Bradford City, said: “I was there the day of the fire and people, still affected by what happened, would be upset seeing smoke like that.”
David Dowse, Bantams’ stadium and facilities manager, said there had only been one flare incident at a home game this year, during a match against Sheffield United.
A 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was made the subject of a three-month referral to Bradford Youth Team and ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs after being found with a smoke bomb at the game.
Mr Dowse said: “There has only been one incident at the Coral Windows Stadium involving away fans, but we have had incidents at away games where our fans have let off these devices. We have repeatedly issued appeals urging people not to do that.
“I think this campaign is absolutely right. I think it’s a perception problem that people think it’s a bit of fun or a bit of a laugh, but these things are lethal and they need to stop using them straight away.”
The FA has been in touch with City about its poster campaign because fire safety issues are sensitive for Bradford supporters, Mr Dowse said.
“They have produced eight posters, but there are only four that we will be using at Bradford City,” he added.
“We are fully behind the campaign and we appreciate the FA has been in touch so we can deal with this issue sensitively.
“However, I have to say if people didn’t use these pyrotechnics we wouldn’t need to have a campaign.
“The one incident we had at home, against Sheffield United, led to a St John Ambulance volunteer having an asthma attack.
“Some of the devices are so small they are hard to find during routine searches, especially if people are trying to hide them. I wish people would come to their senses and stop using them.”
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