British police in France to help prevent more violence

The huge security operation surrounding England’s next Euro 2016 football match has been bolstered amid fears of a fresh wave of violence.

British police are being deployed to France ahead of the next round of Group B matches, and authorities in both England and Russia have appealed for supporters to behave.

Concerns have been raised about security as the next matches played by the two countries will take place in northern cities just 40km apart. Russia is playing Slovakia near Lille at 2pm today, while

England’s next fixture is its game against Wales at 2pm tomorrow in the 41,000-capacity Stade Bollaert-Delelis rugby ground in Lens. Some 50,000 fans are expected to turn up.

Uefa has handed Russia a suspended disqualification from the tournament following the crowd disturbances at the game against England on Saturday, and the British Football Association was warned that further disorder could lead to the England team also being kicked out.

It comes as the first fan to appear in a UK court over the trouble in France was handed a five-year football banning order, after a police “spotter” in the UK saw video of the man “throwing a chair”.

Fabienne Buccio, prefect of the Pas-de-Calais region, said Lens will be “in lockdown by the police”.

She added: “We will have a strong police presence with more than 1,200 police officers present in Lens, and you can add 1,200 more with the private security that will be mobilised that day.

“We have strengthened the safety systems on the inside of the stadium. They will be present in the stands, ready in order to intervene quickly in the stadium if there are clashes between supporters.”

Six British fans were jailed for between one and three months on Monday for their part in the Marseille violence, while yesterday, 24-year-old Birmingham City supporter Daniel Warlow was banned from attending matches for five years for his part in the disorder on Friday, June 10.

British home secretary Theresa May said British police officers known as “spotters” who are trained to identify troublemakers have been sent to France, and British officers trained in public order will also be deployed. She said that for “operational reasons” she would not reveal how many officers are being sent across the Channel.

Earlier, FA chairman Greg Dyke said he has “serious concerns” about the security of fans, while Russia manager Leonid Slutsky asked his nation’s supporters to display “correct behaviour”.

There has already been talk on social media of some England fans seeking revenge on their Russian counterparts, with one user on Twitter suggesting the “English cavalry is comin”, and looking for a “tear up” in Lens on Wednesday.

Another tweet said: “You don’t press on the English without expecting some fight back. We can take the fight to their level” after boasting of a fight with four Russians while travelling through France following Saturday’s game.

Meanwhile, a group of Russia supporters simply posted “R.I.P english hooliganism”.

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