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Local officers gear up as England depart for World Cup

We are stepping up our efforts to make sure the World Cup is enjoyed safely and responsibly in Staffordshire this year.

Fans across the nation are expected to pack out local venues for the eagerly anticipated match against Iran today (Monday 21 November).

On Tuesday (15 November), our dedicated football officer, PC Rich Lymer, was deployed to the security team at St Georges Park as Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad left their HQ in Burton-on-Trent for Qatar.

For the next five weeks, PC Lymer and fellow officers will be policing the tournament locally – in the hope that Staffordshire communities can get behind the team and enjoy the spectacle as safely as possible.

This year’s World Cup marks the first major international tournament since the Lionesses made history and won EURO 2020 at a sell-out Wembley Stadium back in July.

On the same day that the ladies won their emphatic semi-final against Sweden (26 July), PC Lymer started his post as the force’s first dedicated hate crime officer.

He maintained his previous role as the dedicated football officer for Burton Albion and has continued to work closely with local clubs including Stoke City, Port Vale, Hednesford Town and others to ensure safety requirements on a matchday are robustly policed across Staffordshire.

He has also worked closely with Staffordshire FA, Burton Albion Community Trust and Kick It Out to spread awareness for the issues and criminality associated with the football community in the region – including concerns surrounding anti-social behaviour and disorder.

Officers like PC Lymer have been working hard over the last 30 years to eradicate the behaviour of those engaging in football-related violence in the UK.

Police forces in the country are well prepared for the World Cup and have plans in place to reduce the risk of local crime and disorder. We have implemented measures to ensure firm, fair and friendly policing across the region, allowing people to enjoy matches safely and officers to disrupt those intent on engaging in disorder and draining police resources over a typically busy festive period.

PC Lymer said: “The excitement and buzz of a major football tournament can sometimes unfortunately bring with it an increase in anti-social behaviour, drink driving and disorder.

“Some of these issues directly align with community priorities which local officers are robustly actioning on a daily basis. We want our communities to feel safe and this will be no different during the World Cup period.

“We want people to enjoy themselves – whether this is jumping from your seat as Harry Kane scores the winner or if you’re spreading festive cheer in the build-up to Christmas.

“Officers will be out and about, providing visibility within high-football areas and regularly speaking with members of the community.

“If you see anyone engaging in disorder or need to speak to us about anything concerning you, please get in touch and help us make sure that everyone stays safe.”

To report a crime, contact us on Facebook, Twitter, or call 101. Always ring 999 in the event of an emergency.


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