LONDON – British police have warned World Cup fans to behave ahead of a semi-final clash with Croatia, saying there had been “significant disorder” after England's win over Sweden.
The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said it had received reports of at least 387 incidents and 70 arrests around the country following Saturday's game.
“It is incredibly disheartening to see over 300 incidents of alcohol fuelled disorder from a minority of mindless individuals,” Mark Roberts, head of football policing for the NPCC, said in a statement.
“Shops were damaged, people were abused and assaulted and others climbed on buses and cars, causing damage to vehicles and in some cases, themselves,” he said.
Ahead of Wednesday's game, Roberts said: “We want people to celebrate and enjoy themselves but not at the expense of law abiding fans and emergency services' resources”.
In one incident on Saturday, an ambulance parked on a London street was damaged by fans jumping up and down on it.
Millwall fans, who have had a reputation in the past for violence, set up a crowdfunding page that raised more than £9,000 (10,000 euros, $12,000) to repair the vehicle.
“At the Millwall Supporters Club we think it is very important to help our local community, so we want to help to raise funds to help with the repair,” the fan club said on the page.
Millwall, based in south London, became notorious for mass acts of fan violence during the 1970s and 1980s, leaving the club with a reputation that its officials have tried desperately hard to shed in the years since.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)