Drone to patrol Birmingham skies as police prepare for Aston Villa v Blues

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A drone will be flown above Villa Park on Sunday as police look to ensure the Second City derby is trouble free.

Football fans in the city have been urged to behave themselves and make sure the Second City derby is trouble free.

Aston Villa are hosting Blues on Sunday lunchtime in the clubs' second clash of the season.

Officers said a 'visible police presence will be in place in and around the ground' as part of policing plans to ensure the safety of the public – and a drone will be used to monitor crowds.

Match commander Chf Supt Dave Sturman said: "The first match of the season between the clubs at St Andrews last October passed without any major disorder and we are hoping that this weekend's game will run even more smoothly.

"We will have a similar policing operation in place with a highly visible presence of officers and once again we will be deploying a drone which will enable us to monitor crowds and any flashpoints.

"Our 'eye in the sky' can fly up to 400ft and covers a wide area in a short amount of time capturing quality, high definition video in real time."

There will be a police and club search operation at the turnstiles to ensure pyrotechnic devices such as flares and smoke bombs are not taken into the ground.

Officers on the ground will also be wearing bodycams to capture any potential trouble and also act as a deterrent.

To follow the latest updates on accessing the ground, parking, road closures, pub/bar availability fans should follow @WMPVillaFC and @WMPBCFC on Twitter.

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