Extra police on streets of Shropshire for England's World Cup date with destiny
Extra officers will be out on the streets of Shropshire for England's World Cup semi-final match against Croatia tonight.
West Mercia Police chiefs say this week's shifts were re-organised in step with the national side's progression at the tournament to ensure enough officers are on duty.
In addition teams will be travelling to London for the visit of US President Donald Trump's four-day visit starting on Friday.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, said: “You will not have failed to see the national headlines about the pressures on policing at this current time as a result of the World Cup football matches, the summer weather and many other local events and activities on going. We have also had to deploy a large number of our resources to London in support of the visit of the US President.
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“Against this backdrop, this week will provide some significant challenges to West Mercia Police and therefore we have been working to plan and prepare for a busy and demanding week ahead.
“It is our absolute commitment to ensure that if you are in need of our help we will be there to provide this. We will be increasing the numbers of officers and staff on shifts throughout the week to try to maintain our emergency response times. However, we do also need the public’s ongoing help and support and ask that you only call if absolutely necessary.
“We will have to prioritise our response to those in most need. We want to make people aware that during this week, incidents that people would hope for us to get to when they call 101 may take longer than usual. This is not because we don’t care, it is simply because we are under high levels of demand and trying to prioritise how we respond.
"Your help would be appreciated by only calling 999 in the event of a genuine emergency and only calling 101 when considering whether the incident is one that needs a policing response at that particular time.
"We publish the contact details for all our Safer Neighbourhood Teams however these officers will also be working extremely hard to meet the high demands of the week so please allow additional time for them to respond.
"We want people to enjoy themselves and have fun this week, there is lots going on and England’s progress in the World Cup should rightly be celebrated. We urge people to enjoy themselves but in a safe and considerate manner and we will continue to do our very best to keep our communities safe.”
Some pubs in Shropshire are making entry tonight ticket-only to help control numbers, after advice from police.
West Mercia Crime and Police Commissioner John Campion said: "England’s World Cup progress has put a smile on all our faces, but there have been times when that excitement has gone too far. We have all seen the videos of people jumping off bus stops, damaging ambulances and getting into fights.”
“That sort of behaviour has nothing to do with football. It creates unnecessary headaches for our police, ambulances and hospitals, and just ends up costing a huge amount of public money.”
“I am reassured that our police are well prepared for the World Cup and I am confident that is the case for Wednesday’s match too. I am grateful to all of the officers and staff who will be working hard to keep us all safe. A very small proportion of our community will go too far and place avoidable strain on our hard working emergency services. I would appeal to all fans to enjoy the football safely and responsibly”.