A little over a week on from Sussex police reporting that “knives and knuckledusters” had been recovered from the Palace supporters who travelled to The Amex, an official apology has been posted online.
We apologise to @OfficialBHAFC and @CPFC and their supporters following incorrect information issued suggesting weapons found during their match last month. We are happy to confirm that while reported in good faith it's subsequently found to be wrong. https://t.co/3WVZa7AlMv
— Sussex Police (@sussex_police) December 7, 2017
Whilst the actions of the mindless few supporters who stormed a gate last Tuesday have been rightly condemned by the vast majority of Palace fans, the smear campaign that has taken place in the aftermath has been disgusting to say the least.
The existence of “knives and knuckledusters” formed a large part of reports in numerous national news outlets’ coverage of the night, with a direct quote from a policeman involved at the stadium calling it a “return to the dark days”. As a consequence, countless social media users were quick to label our supporters as thugs, when in reality, none of the aforementioned weapons had ever been found.
The apology attached above claims that the report mentioned said offensive items after taking their existence “in good faith”, which is rather convenient way of framing a direct lie. If a police force are happy to play a role in the intentional smearing of thousands of football fans after incidents such as the Hillsborough disaster have received so much coverage, you have to wonder what sort of society we’re living in.
Had Rob Sutherland and the other lads at Five Year Plan not bombarded Sussex Police with direct questions as to the existence of evidence relating to the mythical weapons, the powers that be wouldn’t have ever given the lie a second thought, tarnishing the reputation of thousands unfairly in the process. If this incident has taught us anything, it’s that questions should always be raised of those in power when things don’t add up. It’s easy to take the line of least resistance and keep quiet but more often that any of us would care to imagine; if something doesn’t seem right, it’s worth following up on.