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Know the game plan

Ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, police have urged people watching matches in public places to ‘Know the game plan’.

Speaking at Millennium Square in Leeds City Centre, Chief Supt Nick Aldworth, the new National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare Policing, said: “Our Summer Security messaging is designed to remind everyone that our security, just like a World Cup-winning campaign, is a team effort and we all have a part to play. Sadly we have seen that these big public events and crowded spaces can be targeted by those who want to cause harm, but I want to reassure the public that the police, partners and the event organisers are doing all we can to keep them safe and secure. Some of that protection can be seen with visible security guards and local officers and a significant amount of the security measures will be less obvious and are deployed for extra protection.

“Fans can help us by watching these new videos to make themselves aware of the existing safety advice and to be ready to ACT if you spot suspicious behaviour and activity. Don’t think you might be wasting our time, it is always better to be safe than sorry. If something doesn’t look or feel right, tell someone. We want you to enjoy the games, enjoy the atmosphere and by remaining vigilant we can all stay safe.”

Specialist advice for companies operating in crowded places, split into sectors such as major events, sport stadia, visitor attractions, bars, theatres and shopping centres, is available on the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NACTSO) website. View also counter-terror policing’s Twitter account.

Police say there is no intelligence to indicate an increased threat to World Cup screenings or any other summer events. Their advice for anyone attending an event this summer:

Arrive early and minimise what you carry. Fewer bag searches speed up entry in events.
Be vigilant: If you see anything suspicious, tell a member of staff straight away.
If you see anything which could pose an immediate threat to safety, all 999.
In an emergency, listen to and follow public address instructions.
If told to evacuate, do not wait around or film on your mobile phone.
Move right away from the area quickly to allow emergency workers access.
Once you are safe, follow the local police force on social media for updates.

Separately, police are urging football fans ‘not to lose it all for football’. During the Euro 2016 tournament, and other major sporting events, police have seen spikes in domestic abuse incidents, particularly during key games or matches that fall on weekends. West Yorkshire Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson said: “Sporting events such as the World Cup should be an opportunity to come together in celebration – or even commiseration – but they should never be a backdrop for domestic abuse.”

Pictured: Chesterfield Football Club.


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