Norfolk police confident of plan for World Cup
11:18 22 April 2014
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Police chiefs in Norfolk believe there’s “no reason” to think there will be significant disorder in the county during the World Cup this summer despite pubs being allowed to stay open late during England matches.
With just 51 days to go until the start of the World Cup in Brazil, pubs across Norfolk will be expecting a bumper summer after the government announced it is to relax licensing laws to allow pubs to stay open late during some England matches.
The Home Office initially said it did not consider the World Cup of national importance but a recent U-turn means pubs will be able to stay open until 1am when England matches kick off at 8pm (BST) or later.
It means that it will be late opening for pubs across the city and county on Saturday, June 14 when England take on Italy at 11pm – the normal closing time for many pubs –and also on Thursday, June 19 when Roy Hodgson’s men play Uruguay.
But despite pubs potentially being open later on what are already busy nights for the police – particularly in Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth – police in the county are not predicting any major problems, in the early stages of the tournament at least.
Chief Inspector Gavin Tempest said: “Bearing in mind these tournaments happen on a regular basis we have experience of what happens and certainly over the last two – the European Championships in 2012 and World Cup in 2010 – Norfolk was a good place to go and watch screened international football and there were virtually no significant problems. The worst we could say was there was high spirits and a tendency for people to drink more than they would normally and drink it quicker which we would be on the watch for.
“But in terms of disorder Norfolk, certainly on recent experience, has been a good place to watch screened football and we have no reason to suppose it shouldn’t be for this tournament so people should feel they can have a good time.”
Chief Insp Tempest said police were in the early stages of planning although much rested on whether England got through a tough first round.
He said: “At the moment we feel its pretty low key as regards the first round but a lot of it depends on the success or otherwise of England when they are having their matches in the knock out competition.”
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