POLICE fear they will be unable to cope with the potential for disorder between Dr Who fans and football hooligans when a tourist attraction based on the popular Sci Fi series moves to Cardiff.
Cardiff council and BBC Worldwide plan to relocate the Doctor Who Experience from London to Cardiff Bay next Easter.
The exhibition is expected to attract 250,000 visitors a year, generate revenue of up to £6m annually for BBC Worldwide and pump £65m into the city’s economy.
But South Wales Police say the exhibition will increase policing pressures – and warned they would object to the plans unless the council funds a new Police Community Support Officer (PCSO).
The row centres on police fears that Cardiff City’s notorious hooligan supporters mob, the Soul Crew, will clash with followers of the doctor, the Whovians.
Bad blood exists between the two sets of fans since a 1983 episode of the long running series in which the Soul Crew team up with the notorious Daleks to challenge the Doctor. Despite briefly threatening to take over the world for no understandable reason the Doctor, then played by Peter Davison, predictably gets himself out of a tight spot to defeat his most noted enemies and a rag tag bunch of football hooligans.
In their submission to the council’s planning committee, South Wales Police requested funding of £89,820 to police the exhibition. They say the figure represents 0.0075% of the estimated revenue from the attraction.
“South Wales Police are currently subject to a 22 per cent budget reduction over the next four years and have no capacity to cope with additional major policing demands,” the submission states. “Given the above issues, measures to ensure adequate community safety are not only desirable but essential for economic and social sustainability.
“It’s bad enough having to police the Cardiff City fans as it is, but have you seen what these Dr Who-oligans are like? They’re worse than animals.”
Responding to the request, council planning officers said they could not recall the force ever making a similar demand for any proposed development and have told South Wales Police to piss off.