Boro fan has had his complaints against the police upheld

A BORO fan has been vindicated in a complaint against West Yorkshire Police.

Mark Appleton, a commercial manager from Marton, Middlesbrough, had his key grievances upheld by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The 30-year-old, who has never been trouble with the police before, was issued with a Section 27 notice by the police - ordering him to immediately leave Leeds before a Middlesbrough away match, despite him having committed no crime.

He was also wrongly pushed by a police officer, the IPCC report concluded.

Later Mr Appleton had to tell his bosses at work about the order as the firm was seeking a contract which required specialised police checks. His details were also placed on Cleveland Police Football Intelligence Unit.

Mr Appleton, a Boro season ticket holder for 23 years, said he feared he may be banned from following football altogether.

He explained he was with friends who caught a train to Leeds in August, 2011 to watch Boro play at Elland Road.

They were ushered by police into the Yates pub next to Leeds train station with 200 other fans.

The fans were ordered on to buses but Mr Appleton couldn’t get on the same bus as his friends and asked an officer if he could leave to catch a taxi to the stadium. The officer said he’d check with a superior  but another officer returned with the Section 27 order.

Mr Appleton says he “got a bit agitated” and was pushed by a police officer.

 “I have never had any trouble with the police or any dealings with them at all. I couldn’t believe it. I’d been very polite," he added.

The IPCC report upheld the complaints that the Section 27 was improperly issued, that the use of force (the push) was wrong and that West Yorkshire Police reconsider the training given to officers on how Section 27s should be used. However the report did not agree that any officer had a case to answer for misconduct.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "Although they try to do their best, occasionally officers will make a mistake and we are always prepared to apologise and learn from it."

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