Policeman Yob Burns Flag- Daily Mail Newspaper- Exclusive News Story- ***May 2011***

This story revealed how a police officer held a burning Manchester United flag on FA Cup sem-final day.

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Drunken soccer fan burning rival flag outside Wembley is policeman

Daily Mail Newspaper.

Tatooed and defiant, he is every inch the unacceptable face of the hatred which continues to mar football.

But the diehard Manchester City fan holding the burning flag of their bitter rival outside a high-stakes Wembley derby is an off-duty policeman, the Daily Mail can reveal.

While his colleagues were working hard to keep order at the crucial FA Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Manchester City, Stuart Niven was pictured committing an act calculated to rile opposition fans.

Die hard fan or yob? Off-duty Stuart Niven posted this image on his Facebook page Die hard fan or yob? Off-duty Stuart Niven posted this image on his Facebook page

Die hard fan or yob? Off-duty Stuart Niven posted this image on his Facebook page

The 25-year-old's day job sees him responsible for helping guard some of the UK's most sensitive military installations as an officer with the Ministry of Defence police force. Now his career is in the balance after his force began an investigation into his behaviour earlier this month.

Niven, who has the club's motto 'Superbia in proelia' ('Pride in battle') tattooed on his arm, admitted his actions had been 'stupid'.

In addition to being photographed holding the burning flag, his Facebook profile picture shows him wearing a Manchester City shirt, holding a pint of lager and shouting.

Had he been seen by officers policing the match, on April 16, he could have been arrested for a public order offence.

As it was, a total of 34 arrests were made in and around Wembley, although officers praised the vast majority of fans for their good behaviour as City won 1-0.

Speaking at his parents' home in Altrincham, Cheshire, Niven confessed he had been drunk and said he regretted the stunt.

In uniform: The football yob Niven dressed for his day job
Rage: Niven at Wembley

In uniform: The football yob Niven dressed for his day job and, right, at Wembley

'I'd had a few drinks obviously as City were at Wembley,' he told the Mail. 'Sometimes people do stupid things when they're drunk. I'm now worried I'm going to lose my job.'

He added: 'I didn't start the fire, I was handed the flag. It was just a prank to do with your mates.'

Niven joined the MoD police in 2006 and was based in Scotland at Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, where his responsibilities would have included guarding nuclear submarines at the Faslane base as well as warheads stored nearby. He has since moved to the force's base at Stafford.

A spokesman for the MoD police said: 'The professional standards department is making inquiries to establish the facts surrounding the picture and whether any breach of regulations has occurred.'

The issue of thuggishness in football was highlighted last week when Bury's goalkeeper was set upon by young fans including a pony-tailed girl apparently not even in her teens after letting in a goal when his team was playing at Chesterfield.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1382114/Drunken-soccer-fan-burning-rival-flag-outside-Wembley-policeman.html#ixzz1LN9xDHOM

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