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Top police superintendent Sarah Derbyshire, 49, pictured, has been caught taking part in a pitch invasion after Bournemouth Football Club was promoted to the Premier League
A top police superintendent has been caught taking part in a pitch invasion after Bournemouth Football Club was promoted to the Premier League.
On May 3, Bournemouth beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 at Dean Court – and Superintendent Sarah Derbyshire, 49, was one of three off-duty police officers at the forefront of the celebrations.
Police have been scouring CCTV to find out who took part in the pitch invasion which was the first in a string of similar incidents which left some football players being assaulted.
Ms Derbyshire and two of her colleagues from Dorset Police force were seen celebrating on the pitch as the Bournemouth fans took to the grass where some supporters set off smoke bombs.
A source told The Sun: ‘When police were looking through the footage they had the shock of their lives when they saw the superintendent on the pitch celebrating.
‘There were a couple of other officers from the force who got carried away and ran on to the pitch to jump up and down with the crowd.
‘None of the officers caused any trouble and it was all good-natured. But the law is the law and clearly they, of all people, should have been aware that what they were doing was illegal.’
It is against the law for spectators to go onto the playing area of the stadium, under the Football Offences Act 1991. A criminal charge can lead to up to six months in prison.
Electrical engineer Robert Biggs, 30, of Derbyshire, headbutted Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp after storming onto the pitch after Nottingham Forest beat Sharp’s team 3-2 on penalties on 17 May.
He was jailed for 24 weeks and was also handed a 10-year football banning order after pleading guilty to assault at Nottingham Magistrate’s Court.
Police officers monitoring the CCTV notified the professional standards unit of Dorset Police that the three police officers were spotted taking part in the celebrations.
On May 3, Bournemouth beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 at Dean Court – and Superintendent Sarah Derbyshire, 49, was one of three off-duty police officers at the forefront of the celebrations
Police have been scouring CCTV to find out who took part in the pitch invasion which was the first in a string of similar incidents which left some football players being assaulted
They are said to have ‘received informal advice’ to ‘reflect’ on the incident. A message was reportedly sent to all officers on the force which told them that they must not invade football pitches, ‘no matter how exciting the occasion’.
A source added that 49-year-old Supt Derbyshire and her family are all diehard Bournemouth fans, and that she is ‘only human’ as the ’emotion on Bournemouth winning promotion clearly got to her’.
Currently on attachment to the inspectorate of constabulary, Derbyshire used to be a detective running a major crime team, looking into murders and serious offences.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services said: ‘We are aware an employee of Dorset Police currently seconded to HMICFRS was involved in an incident earlier this month.
‘It is a matter for Dorset Police as the individual’s employer to take appropriate action.’
Dorset Police Force said of the pitch invasion: ‘Three police officers were identified and were asked to reflect on their involvement. Following the game, a message was issued internally reminding all officers and staff of the high standards of behaviour expected of them both in and out of work.’
A string of pitch invasions have led to worries of increased attacks against football players and managers.
Ms Derbyshire (pictured) and two of her colleagues from Dorset Police force were seen celebrating on the pitch as the Bournemouth fans took to the grass where some supporters set off smoke bombs
Nottingham Forest season ticket holder Robert Biggs, who was jailed for headbutting Billy Sharp, was one of hundreds of fans to invade the pitch following his team’s victory over Sheffield United.
The court heard how he had consumed ‘a quantity of alcohol’ before carrying out the ‘senseless act of violence’, which the judge said demanded a custodial sentence.
The stocky supporter in yellow broke away from the celebrations to charge headfirst into Sharp who was standing with his arms crossed in the technical area at the City Ground.
Footage of the incident was captured live on Sky Sports and shows Sharp being floored having not seen his attacker coming.
Mr Sharp, who previously played for Forest, needed stitches. The footballer said the morning after the incident: ‘One mindless idiot ruined what was an unbelievable night of football.
‘Congratulations to Nottingham Forest on their victory and good luck in the final. As an ex Forest player I will not let one scumbag ruin my respect for the Forest fans.’