Don't Stop Believin' Journey
Hampshire police will be on patrol at Southampton Airport next week to ensure that potential trouble-makers are prevented from travelling to the football World Cup, which kicks off on June 12.
Using powers available under the Football Spectators Act, officers are able to prevent from travelling anyone reasonably suspected of going with a likelihood or intention of being involved in football-related violence.
People on Football Banning Orders have already been required to hand their passports in, but if anyone on an FBO is spotted, they will also be stopped. Officers will also be looking for other 'undesirables' such as those wanted on warrant and people with public order convictions.
Individuals on FBOs were required to surrender their passports at designated police stations from June 1.
During a similar police operation in 2006, over 200 people were spoken to and detailed checks carried out.
Of the 164 FBOs in place at the time, there were 36 breaches whereby individuals either failed to surrender their passport or sign on when England played.
The UK is the only country with powers to prevent their high risk fans from leaving England during the tournament.
Those on FBOs will also have to report to their designated police station on the day of each England match.
As well as the ports operation, extra high visibility patrols will be deployed across the two counties during England matches, to prevent and disrupt any public order problems which may arise during and after the games and ensure that the public can safely enjoy the games. The patrols will continue until England are either no longer in the tournament – or bring the trophy home.
Superintendent Rick Burrows, one of the officers leading the policing operation, said:
"The World Cup is a fantastic event which galvanizes the community and is a real celebration for fans across the world.
"We are not aiming to be kill-joys, our simple aim is to stop people who we know are trouble-makers from travelling to the games and spoiling the tournament for others.
"This operation is designed to compliment the banning order handing-in system, to ensure that football violence is not transported abroad.
"There is a very small minority of people who take part in football related violence and disorder, causing a risk to the safety of the vast majority of law abiding football supporters.
"Together with the Crown Prosecution Service and other agencies, we are determined to stop that small element spoiling the party. We will work closely with the CPS to ensure that those found committing acts of football-related violence are robustly dealt with and brought to justice."