In stark contrast to the days when
English football hooligans terrorised Europe, not one English fan
has been arrested at Euro 2012, Andy Holt, head of the uniformed
British police squad at the tournament, said on Saturday.
The assistant chief constable told Reuters in an interview
that police were taking nothing for granted ahead of Sunday's
quarter-final with Italy, and they would make special provision
if England reached a semi-final against Germany in Warsaw.
The uniformed officer, speaking outside the giant fan zone
in central Kiev, said police expected about 6,000 fans for
Sunday's England match, the biggest number so far following
their group games against France, Sweden and Ukraine.
"There have been no arrests of England fans I am pleased to
say. We have worked very hard with both the embassy and consular
services and are very happy.
"Of course, UEFA fined the English FA for the fans behaviour
at the Sweden game, but that was inside the stadium not outside
and there have been no incidents outside."
"We have also worked very hard with the Ukrainian
authorities and UEFA itself to get even better policing and
stewarding at the ground but, overall, there have been no real
The English FA was fined 5,000 euros after England
fans tried to invade the Kiev pitch during the 3-2 win over
Sweden on June 15 in their last Group D game.
If England reach the semi-finals, plans are already in place
to deal with what would be a high profile match against Germany,
"We have a senior office in Poland already working with the
stadium and Polish police authorities planning for that match if
it should take place.
"There will be a reinforced and enhanced capability in
Poland because we would anticipate a significant increase in the
number of England fans at that match."
England's travelling army, "a very different breed of fan
from 15 or 20 years ago," according to Holt, are being
marshalled by officers in uniform and plainclothes who, Holt
says, have a very good relationship with the fans.
He added that there have been some isolated cases in Ukraine
where England supporters had been the victims of crime which had
been dealt with.
"One England fan, an off-duty police officer on holiday, was
assaulted in Donetsk," he said, "but so far there have not been
too many other incidents and generally we are very happy at what
has been a largely trouble-free tournament so far."
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