The operation aims to reduce disorder involving England supporters during the World Cup, both in Manchester and Brazil, and GMP will be sharing information on known troublemakers with other police forces, Manchester Airport, the UK Border Agency and the FA.
It is estimated that 38,000 England fans will be going to Brazil, and authorities are working to ensure that they will not be joined by the 175 people in Greater Manchester who are subject to football banning orders. All of these supporters must surrender their passports during the tournament, and football intelligence officers will be based at Manchester Airport to check that no one who is blacklisted flies to Brazil.
GMP is also sending an officer to the tournament as part of a UK policing delegation tasked with identifying England supporters who may pose a security risk.
During England games, city-centre officers will carry out extra street patrols for public reassurance, and will intervene swiftly at the first sign of trouble.
To reduce the likelihood of alcohol-related disorder, and to make drinking environments safer, bars and pubs have been advised to consider extra security and plastic glasses, and premises will also be able to stay open longer on nights where there is a late England kick-off.
Fans are reminded that matches will not be broadcast outside on the large screens at Spinningfields or Exchange Square.
“It’s important that everyone is allowed to enjoy this year’s World Cup – England’s participation in a major sporting event is something for everyone to celebrate.
“However, I urge all fans to behave responsibly and in the right manner. Greater Manchester Police have put in place effective measures for ensuring that everyone across Greater Manchester is able to enjoy the football together safely. Anti-social behaviour, whether drink related or not, will not be tolerated, and GMP will be working closely with the local community to make sure a minority of individuals don’t spoil things for everyone else.” Tony Lloyd
Chief Inspector Gareth Parkin, head of GMP’s World Cup operation, said: “This tournament is as big as it gets in football, and we want everyone to enjoy it in the right spirit. We have no problem with fans gathering at venues where games are being shown, but we will take firm action against anyone involved in disorder, and those responsible will be prosecuted.
“I wish the England team the best of luck, and would encourage people to visit the city centre this summer to enjoy the facilities in what should be a great atmosphere.”
Cllr Bernard Priest, Manchester City Council’s deputy leader, said: “Hundreds of thousands of people will be visiting the city centre during the World Cup, particularly on evenings when England will be playing.
“We’ll be working closely with licensed premises, the police and the organisers of the World Cup fan zone to make sure fans can enjoy a safe and trouble-free tournament, but we will not tolerate anyone using the event as an excuse for antisocial behaviour.”
To coincide with the World Cup operation, police will be on patrol around the clock targeting suspected drink drivers, and will use new portable drug testing machines to see whether drivers are under the influence of drugs.
Officers are encouraging abstinence, rather than restraint, with regard to drink driving, and will hammer home the ‘#NoneForTheRoad’ message using social media and posters in pubs.
In addition, GMP has plans in place to address the predicted increase in domestic abuse during the tournament.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Bridge of GMP’s Public Protection Division said: “We traditionally see a rise in the number of domestic incidents reported during major sporting events as emotions run higher. Domestic abuse experienced by women and men from all backgrounds can end in devastating consequences, and we would urge victims, friends, family members and neighbours to report any crimes.”
A webcast with GMP, Women’s Aid, Victim Support and IDVA will be carried out on Tuesday 17 June from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. Members of the public wanting to ask a question about domestic abuse as a victim or a third party can do anonymously via this link: www.gmp.police.uk/endthefear.
To make a report call police on 101, the Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0161 636 7525, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
Use 999 only in emergencies where there is a threat to life or property or a crime in progress.