Security was high at last night’s dramatic Middlesbrough vs. Leeds United match at the Riverside Stadium, which saw Leeds secure a thrilling 4-3 victory. Thousands of fans descended on the town, and Cleveland Police collaborated closely with both football clubs and other partner agencies to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

The large-scale security operation was evident around the stadium and throughout the town centre. Officers from Cleveland Police were joined by their colleagues from Northumbria Police, whose mounted unit provided a visible presence on horseback. British Transport Police also played a key role, ensuring safety at the train station and on local transport routes. Officers from Durham Police further bolstered the security measures. All officers were actively engaging with fans to provide reassurance and assistance.

“Our goal is to ensure everyone can attend safely, enjoy the game in a fun and friendly atmosphere, and make it home safely,” emphasised Match Commander Superintendent Darren Bainbridge.

Cleveland Police stressed that while the overwhelming majority of fans come to enjoy themselves responsibly, a minority might use sporting events as a pretext for disruptive or criminal behaviour. “Offences will be dealt with robustly,” Superintendent Bainbridge warned. The operation utilised cutting-edge tactics like police drones, which monitored crowds around the stadium perimeter, as well as pyrotechnic detection dogs and extensive CCTV monitoring to deter and identify offenders. Potential troublemakers were warned they risked being denied entry, receiving banning orders, and facing criminal prosecution.

At least one arrest was reported for alleged assault, underlining the importance of the security measures in place.

Community Cooperation

Photos in the gallery accompanying this article illustrate the scale of the security operation, showing officers interacting with fans, crowd control measures, the use of specialist resources, including the mounted police unit and police drones.

Cleveland Police asked for continued public support, encouraging anyone with information related to football-associated disorder to call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.