TWO Hampshire police experts in tackling football hooliganism have been drafted in to police Euro 2012.
The officers, whose names have not been disclosed for operational reasons, will join 22 others from 10 forces who will fly out for England’s first clash against France in Donetsk, Ukraine, on June 11.
Of the team, 18 will stay in the Ukraine and six will be deployed to Poland, led by Assistant Chief Constable Andy Holt, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ football lead.
Meanwhile Hampshire police Superintendent Rick Burrows yesterday spoke out after former England defender Sol Campbell warned England fans to steer clear of the tournament amid fears they could targeted by racists
Supt Burrows warned: ‘There is clear evidence that the authorities in Ukraine and Poland have a significant challenge in denying the bigots who use football as a theatre to peddle their hate.
‘There is clear documentary and academic evidence that racism and homophobia is a serious issue in these countries, and that visiting teams and supporters may be exposed to levels of abuse and hate crime that have thankfully been largely eradicated across the UK.’
A total of 64 football fans from our area with banning orders must surrender their passports during the tournament – or face arrest.
He added: ‘We expect the Polish and Ukraine authorities to take a firm stance on any and all hate crime and associated football-related disorder.’