Sea of rubbish and broken glass left in Leeds after fans celebrate promotion

A police officer was seriously injured and a number of others hurt as thousands of people gathered to celebrate Leeds United winning the Championship.

A huge clean-up operation is under way in the city this morning after an estimated 7,000 people gathered despite social distancing guidelines to mark the club’s return to the Premier League, leaving a sea of broken glass and other litter strewn across a city centre square.

West Yorkshire Police said a female officer was taken to hospital with serious head injuries after being hit by a bottle, as a ‘minority’ threw objects at police. A number of other officers were also hurt along with members of the public, as nine people were arrested, the force said.

Video footage from Yorkshire Post journalist Rebecca Marano shows the scale of the mess left after the celebrations, as she said there were broken bottles and tins ‘everywhere’. She also interviewed a fan helping to clean up, but added that she was left picking glass out of her trainers.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Oz Khan explained: ‘Throughout the weekend, fans have gathered across Leeds to celebrate the promotion of Leeds United into the Premier League.

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‘We have continued to impress upon fans the importance of the Covid-19 Government guidance and our approach has primarily remained as one of engagement and encouragement.’

He continued: ‘On Sunday, almost 7,000 people gathered in Millennium Square in Leeds.

‘Whilst the vast majority of fans were enjoying themselves and celebrating, there were a small minority of people who began to throw bottles at police officers.

‘A female officer suffered a serious head injury and was taken to hospital for treatment, a number of other officers suffered minor injuries and a further 15 members of the public were injured.’

Leeds United’s return to the top flight after 16 years was confirmed on Friday, before the club were crowned league winners yesterday, 

Mr Khan said officers were deployed to Millennium Square at noon and began to disperse the crowds in the evening.

He said the area was cleared by 11.55pm, with nine people arrested for public order offences.

The officer said: ‘The safety of fans and the wider public is our primary concern.

‘Violence towards police officers will not be tolerated and we deployed an appropriate police response to ensure that the festivities concluded safely.

‘It is important to remind the public that we must not lose sight of the fact that Covid-19 is still with us and that large gatherings are still not permitted.’

Earlier, the club tweeted: ‘Morning #LUFC fans! Who’s feeling rough today?’

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