Fans praised for good behaviour

Football fans have been praised for their good behaviour in the World Cup so far, but police chiefs have warned troublemakers they are ready for disorder if it happens at England's vital clash this weekend.

Football fans have been praised for their good behaviour in the World Cup so far, but police chiefs have warned troublemakers they are ready for disorder if it happens at England's vital clash this weekend.

The World Cup was expected to provide Norfolk Constabulary with its first real test of the new licensing laws brought in last November with fans out in force drinking all day and looking to celebrate or commiserate long into the evening.

But so far there have just been three public order-related arrests over the course of England's first three games which have seen them qualify from the group as winners.

Despite failing to beat Sweden in Cologne on TuesdayEngland will meet Equador in a second round match on Sundayat 4pm.


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England's progress in the tournament might be one of the reasons for supporters' good behaviour across the city, but Chief Inspector Gavin Tempest said the police are ready if the good mood should change.

“There's a big market for people to drink and watch football and probably the biggest centre of that market is the Riverside entertainment centre in Norwich,” he said.

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“A lot of the preparations for that in terms of policing has been based on putting extra policing patrols to reassure members of the public in and around the Riverside area of Norwich.

“So far there have been happy supporters which is good and to be welcomed, but we're geared up to deal with any negative feelings that might happen should England get knocked out.

“The tournament so far has shown people can celebrate and enjoy watching the World Cup which is one of the major sporting events on the calendar; there really is no need for a minority to spoil the event for the majority of people who are watching.”

Chf Insp Tempest, who headed the pioneering Operation Enterprise Project which targeted alcohol-related violence in Norwich's much maligned Prince of Wales Road, said part of the success of tournament so far has been down to the planning police have with other agencies ahead of the big kick-off.

Earlier this month the Evening News reported how police chiefs pledged to take a tough stance this summer with yobs intent on causing trouble during the competition.

Extra officers have been on the streets carrying out high visibility patrols and officers have also been working with licensees across the city to ensure they know what the terms of their license are and what to look out for in terms of trouble.

Julian Foster, chairman of the Central Norwich Citizens Forum, said: “I think the atmosphere during the World Cup so far has been first class as far as the city has been concerned and I'm really pleased; a lot of it has been down to the preparatory work by Operation Enterprise and the police licensing team.”

Check out www.eveningnews24.co.uk for full coverage of the World Cup.

Don't forget at every England game we are giving fans the chance to win booze. If you are circled in the picture we print in the paper after each game you will be win.

On Sunday, for the match against Ecuador, our photographers will be visiting Squares in Riverside, Strikers at Carrow Road and The Rose in Queens Road. Check out Monday's paper to see if you are our lucky winner.

Do you have a World Cup story? Telephone Evening News reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772439 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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