Portsmouth police ready dispersal orders and extra officers across the city for England vs Italy Euro 2020 final
ADDITIONAL police will be on the streets of Portsmouth ahead of England’s historic match in the Euro 2020 final, as officers prepare dispersal orders across the city to deal with unruly crowds.
Following Wednesday’s England vs Denmark match, police were called to Albert Road in Southsea after a ‘large group’ congregated in the road.
Now officers are preparing dispersal orders and additional patrols in certain areas of the city ahead of England’s appearance in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.
Chief Inspector Mark Lewis from Hampshire Constabulary said he was pleased that the ‘vast majority of fan have been enjoying the tournament safely’ – but the force was ready to deal with those would ‘ruin it for others’.
He said: ‘Along with the rest of the nation, we are thrilled that the national team have made it to the final of the Euros and we wish the England team the best of luck for Sunday.
‘As with previous England games, we will have additional resources in place across the city to keep people safe and ensure we can deal with the minority committing offences that seeks to ruin it for others, but we really hope it will be a time of enjoyment and celebration.
‘Clearly pubs and bars will be busy for the match on Sunday evening and we will continue to work with licensed premises, providing them with best practice and guidance to ensure they are fully prepared.
‘As we approach the match, it may be appropriate to put dispersal orders in place in certain areas of the city, if deemed necessary to prevent serious disorder and protect members of the public. This will be reviewed across the weekend.’
Dispersal orders allow police to move on individuals in a specified area to reduce the likelihood of crime and disorder, with a fine or a maximum three-month prison sentence for anyone failing to comply.
It comes as football fans across the city have appealed for the council to set up fan zones, either at Guildhall or on Southsea Common, to allow a large public screening of the historic match.
Chief Insp Lewis added: ‘In terms of outdoor screenings of the match, we will work with those planning such events and assess each case individually. We take into account a number of considerations around such events, including information in the risk assessment provided by the event organiser and the potential for any associated crime and disorder.’
Portsmouth Film Society had hoped to stage a private outdoor screening for more than 60 members and volunteers at Southsea Skate Park, but this was scrapped after the venue and police raised concerns about the safe management of the event.
Chief Insp Lewis added: ‘We have provided feedback around outdoor big screen events and our considerations in relation to these to the operators of Southsea Skate Park, who have made the decision not to hold the screening based on advice from ourselves and Portsmouth City Council.’