South Norwood residents speak of fear as hooligans smash up street after Crystal Palace v Charlton match
Football hooligans caused havoc when they went on the rampage following Palace’s 2-1 win over their rivals.
Groups of Charlton FC supporters smashed up cars and damaged residents’ property as they made their way towards Norwood Junction station after their game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Trouble first started inside the ground, when several rows of seats were broken, flares illegally set off and toilets damaged.
Problems escalated as the away fans made their way home, with fans jumping on cars, knocking down parts of a wall and smashing vehicles in Sangley Road with pieces of wood.
Ten arrests have been made so far and four men charged, but more are expected after police confirmed they were investigating damage caused after the match.
New acting borough commander Chief Superintendent Richard Wood is also expected to meet residents to talk about their concerns following the clash.
Chief Superintendent Adrian Roberts, who was the police match commander for the game on Saturday, February 2, said: “I was disappointed to see property and vehicles damaged.
“Detectives from Croydon CID began their investigation of this damage on Saturday and we will be determined to bring all of those responsible for this mindless destruction to justice."
More than 3,000 away fans attended the game, but only a small minority of fans caused trouble.
After the match, away fans were held in Park Road by a police cordon while Palace fans made their way home, but as they were gradually released through the cordon the trouble started.
Residents said they were scared as they watched fans cause the damage while they made their way down Sangley Road, South Norwood.
Some Charlton fans took to Twitter and gloated about the damage caused, but residents said it was not a laughing matter.
Ruth Ndagire, 54, of Sangley Road, has lived there for seven years and had her car damaged by fans.
She said: “It was too much.
“It was noisy and there were loads of them coming down the street.
“It was very scary. Especially when there are groups who are destroying property, it was not nice at all.”
Amanda Anderson, 36, watched from her window.
She said: “Everybody who lives down here said it made more sense to take them down the main road.
“We do not understand why police brought fans down a residential street.
“People are having to lock their children inside because they are so worried.
“The kids are scared and it should not be like that.”
Police have used the tactic of holding fans before directing them down the route to successfully police recent games involving Millwall and Brighton.
But police will now speak to residents about their concerns.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman wrote on Twitter on the day of the game: “Challenging game to police today, made so by very small minority intent on causing problems and several arrests made. There were no major incidents and kept fans safe.”
Councillor Wayne Lawlor, of South Norwood ward, said he hoped the police and Crystal Palace FC would take responsibility over the matter.
He said: “I am shocked and appalled by this disgraceful behaviour from a minority of antisocial hooligans who rampaged through South Norwood terrorising innocent residents.”
Crystal Palace FC have chosen not to comment on the incident.
Among people charged on the day were a 16-year-old and a 43-year-old accused of possessing and discharging a flare at a sporting event.
A total of 10 people were arrested during the policing operation for the game between Crystal Palace and Charlton on Saturday 2 February.
Mark Wilson, 43, was arrested and charged with possession and discharge of a flare. He will appear at Croydon Magistrates Court on February 27.
A 16-year-old boy was also charged with the same offence. He will appear at Croydon Youth Court on February 14.
Alex Kingshott, 35, of Chislehurst, was charged with possession of cocaine and will appear at Croydon Magistrates court on February 27.
Nicky Windham, 28, of Bexleyheath, will appear at Croydon Magistrates on the same date after being charged with affray.
Six other men were arrested for a variety of offences including affray, police obstruction, public disorder offences and possession of class A drugs.
They have all been bailed to return to a south London police station in March.