POLICE scouring CCTV film of a pitch invasion spotted a jubilant off-duty top cop on the turf.
Top cop Sarah Derbyshire and two colleagues joined thousands of other Bournemouth supporters in a mass surge onto the turfCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk
The good-natured May 3 celebrations heralded a string of similar invasions across the countryCredit: Getty
The superintendent was one of three off-duty police officers spotted celebrating as part of a pitch invasion.
Top cop Sarah Derbyshire and two colleagues joined thousands of other Bournemouth supporters in a mass surge on to the turf, with smoke bombs let off.
The good-natured May 3 celebrations heralded a string of similar invasions across the country — but these have seen players assaulted and managers caught in skirmishes.
It is illegal for fans to enter a pitch “without lawful authority or lawful excuse”.
One source said: “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.”
Officers monitoring the game informed Dorset’s professional standards unit about the involvement of the three cops.
They received informal advice to reflect and a message was sent to all officers warning they must not invade football pitches, no matter how exciting the occasion.
Supt Derbyshire is currently on attachment to the inspectorate of constabulary. She previously ran a major crime team investigating murders and serious offences.
A source said: “She’s from the area and her family are all diehard Cherries. Sarah is very well-respected in the force and has had a very good career, much of it as a detective dealing with major crimes.
“She’s the real deal but still only human and the emotion of Bournemouth winning promotion clearly got to her.”
Supt Derbyshire let the emotion of Bournemouth promotion get to her, a source claimedCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk
It is illegal for fans to enter a pitch ‘without lawful authority or lawful excuse’Credit: Getty
Players and managers have since been caught up in a series of shocking incidents in mass pitch invasions, with the latest at Premier League title winners Man City on Sunday.
Sky pundit and former Manchester United star Gary Neville said it was “deeply concerning.”
He said: “Running on the pitch is obviously delirious — they’ve won the league — so I get that. But attacking the opposition players on the pitch, where has this come from?
“Why is it happening? It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
His TV colleague and former team-mate Roy Keane warned someone may “do something silly like stab a player”.
The FA said it is considering new rules to stamp out disorder and was “very concerned about the rise in anti-social behaviour from fans”.
The Premier League urged clubs to remind fans it is illegal for them to go on the pitch and “may result in a criminal record and stadium bans”.
Cheshire chief constable Mark Roberts, national lead for football policing, warned that barriers might have to go back up to prevent trouble.
Dorset Police said of the pitch invasion at Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium: “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.”
It said the message reiterated “that no matter how exciting it is for their team to win promotion to the Premier League, they must not be involved in pitch invasions”.
Supt Derbyshire politely declined to comment yesterday.
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.”
Pitch aggro soaring as fans go wild
THE beautiful game has been marred by a series of ugly pitch invasions in recent days.
Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp, 36, was headbutted as thousands of Nottingham Forest fans celebrated their Championship semi-final play-off win.
He needed stitches after the assault last Tuesday and Forest thug Robert Biggs, 30, was jailed for 24 weeks after admitting ABH. He was also given a ten-year football banning order.
In the same melee, United striker Oli McBurnie, 25, was seen on video allegedly stamping on Forest fan George Brinkley, 26. George said he thought he was going to die. Police said they wanted to quiz McBurnie, who denied wrongdoing.
Last Thursday, Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira, 45, was confronted by a home supporter in a pitch invasion as Everton fans celebrated a 3-2 victory which secured their Premier League survival.
The former France and Arsenal ace kicked out at him after being berated by the thug.
And on Sunday, Aston Villa goalie Robin Olsen, 32, was struck by at least two Man City fans celebrating their title win.
The FA said of the incidents: “This simply cannot continue.”
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