England’s World Cup exit passed largely without trouble – police chief

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The Three Lions fell at the semi-final stage against Croatia.

Fans in Hyde Park, London, play with giant inflatable footballs during the World Cup semi final match between Croatia and England (Victoria Jones/PA)

Ugly scenes which followed – and marred – England’s win over Sweden at the World Cup were not repeated after the Three Lions’ defeat to Croatia.

Police were hoping to avoid a second serving of the alcohol-fuelled offending at the weekend when over-excited fans clambered over cars, buses and emergency vehicles.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said 387 football-related incidents were recorded at the weekend, mostly alcohol-related disorder.

But Wednesday evening passed more peacefully with police saying the vast majority of fans left pubs and parks “with their heads held high and without issue”.

The Metropolitan Police’s Football Unit said there were a “small number of incidents and arrests” and thanked people for “making our job tonight easier”.

In Nottingham, where a taxi was smashed up after the 2-0 quarter-final victory against Sweden, more officers were drafted in – and some rest days cancelled – to quell any disorder.


Steve Cooper, who led the policing operation, said: “We have made two arrests for domestic abuse-related offences, but the levels of criminal damage, disorder and antisocial behaviour that we saw on the weekend have not been repeated.

“People have been really cooperative and patient while we closed a number of roads in the city centre to move on the crowds of people leaving Nottingham Castle and have made their way under instruction of uniformed colleagues.”

Emergency services reported an increased number of calls following the final whistle – with the London Ambulance Service saying one 999 call was made for someone who had climbed – and fallen from – a lamppost.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said that in the hour following the close of play, it had taken almost 240 999 calls compared to 120 in the hour preceding.

The service tweeted: “Come on West Midlands, show some dignity & respect towards each other! Look how our 999 calls have rocketed after the final whistle with numerous assaults & fights reported. Our @England team have been gracious in defeat, fans should be too #respect”

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