- The 2018 World Cup in Russia is set to have British police officers on patrol
- Authorities in the UK are anticipating a formal request from the Russian Police
- Britain will send team of officers already familiar with the English fans’ behaviour
- Previous hosts have found inviting officers from various countries can work well
The 2018 World Cup in Russia is set to have British police officers on patrol.
Authorities in the United Kingdom are anticipating a formal request from the Russian Police within the next three weeks for assistance at this summer’s tournament.
The idea will be for Britain to send a team of officers who are already familiar with the behaviour of English fans, so that any threat of trouble is kept to a minimum.
The 2018 World Cup in Russia is set to have British police officers on patrol
The idea will be for Britain to send officers already familiar with the behaviour of English fans
It comes after Britain’s most senior football officer – deputy chief constable Mark Roberts – warned before Christmas: ‘There is an active hooligan issue in Russia and it generally operates at a pretty extreme level of violence.’
Roberts also said Three Lions fans will be seen as laying down a ‘challenge’ if they sing nationalistic songs.
England’s group games against Tunisia, Panama and Belgium will be held in the Russian cities of Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod and Kaliningrad respectively.
Once Russia have sent their request to the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Home Office will be expected to give the green light to have British officers help oversee England’s games.
Previous hosts, like Brazil in 2014, found inviting officers from other countries can work well
These football-specific officers are called ‘spotters’. The size of the team that is sent will be kept secret for security reasons.
Despite the violence at Euro 2016, there was good collaboration between England police and Russians.
It is hoped that by sending British officers then any out-of-the-ordinary behaviour will be easier to spot. They will also work with local Russian police to prevent incidents and share intelligence.
Previous host nations, such as Brazil in 2014, have found the tactic of inviting police officers from various competing countries can work favourably.