UK police head to Brazil World Cup

A team of British police officers will be posted to Brazil during the World Cup.

Thousands of British fans are expected to attend the World Cup in Brazil
Thousands of British fans are expected to attend the World Cup in Brazil

Six bobbies are being sent to South America "to offer support and advice to Brazilian police and local authorities" and help protect England fans.

Chief Superintendent Rachel Barber, from South Yorkshire Police, will lead the small team during the tournament, which thousands of British fans are expected to attend.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Holt, who will be the overall commander from the UK, said: "British police are among the best in the world at policing football matches and it is testament to their work with supporters' groups and others involved in the game that serious football violence has declined. At the last World Cup in 2010 there were only seven arrests of England fans, none of them for football-related violence.

"It is also important that fans play their part in keeping themselves and others safe - by avoiding protests or confrontation, keeping personal belongings safe and leaving plenty of time to get to match venues.

"Very importantly, if you are the subject of a football banning order, you must surrender your passport to your nominated police station by May 31. If you attempt to travel to Brazil, we will be keeping an eye out for you and in the very unlikely event that you are not picked up at a port or airport, our intelligence team in Brazil will spot you and there will be serious legal consequences for you back home."

Mr Holt also pleaded with supporters celebrating or commiserating in Britain to drink responsibly.

"In the UK, the policing operation will be friendly yet firm during the World Cup," he said.

"We want fans to have a good time wherever they gather to watch matches, but we ask those drinking alcohol to do so responsibly and not become an unnecessary drain on police resources.

"Our best advice to people is: enjoy the tournament and take care for your own safety and that of your friends."