Date: 27th March 2006 at 5:55pm
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POLICE have praised the behaviour of football fans after the derby match between Wr**h*m and Chester at The Racecourse yesterday.

North Wales and Cheshire Police issued a frank and clear message to football fans travelling to Wrexham that violence would not be tolerated.

And the message, combined with high profile policing and containment work by the Cheshire and North Wales forces, as well as British Transport Police, proved a success with only minor incidents reported. Just three people were arrested for public order offences.

Large numbers of police, many wearing body armour, were positioned on Mold Road and other streets around The Racecourse before, during and after the match.

Some officers were equipped with video cameras, and dog handlers were also on patrol. The North Wales Police helicopter also hovered over the town for most of the afternoon.

Some 1,340 fans made their way across the border for the crunch match with 250 of them making the journey by rail.

Police shepherded fans on and off the trains and escorted them to the stadium to minimise opportunities for trouble to break out.

Due to yesterday?s fixture being postponed from the original date in December, the return fixture between the rival teams is only just over two weeks away and Cheshire Police are calling for the trouble free pattern to extend to the April 12 clash at the Saunders Honda Stadium.

Chester police spokesman Mark Houghton said: ?We worked closely with North Wales Police and the British Transport Police in preventing any public disorder and the only arrests made were for minor offences.

?Our operation went well and we can only praise the behaviour of the fans.

?We want the same sort of situation when Wrexham play in Chester.?