Football fans praised after England game

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ENGLAND’S Euro 2012 match with France passed peacefully in Eastbourne as people packed pubs to watch Roy Hodgson’s charges secure a hard-fought 1-1 draw with their Gallic cousins.

Sussex Police have already warned potential troublemakers that the force’s approach to the tournament would be “friendly, fair but firm” amid concerns drunken supporters may cause a spike in anti-social behaviour during and after England games.

And there were also fears that poor performances on the pitch could lead to an increase in domestic violence, with experts pointing to similar trends during previous tournaments.

However, local officers confirmed that there had not been a single football related arrest in the aftermath of England’s point-sharing face off with France on Monday.

There were extra patrols on duty across the town during and after the game and certain pubs and bars had officers outside in vans and cars as a very visible deterrent.

Officers also worked with local authorities and licensees from pubs and clubs to deter trouble before it started.

Landlords were asked to help people stay safe by, for example, providing drinks only in plastic glasses and alerting police quickly if anyone looked likely to run amok.

And, according to Sussex Police Superintendent Grenville Wilson, that approach, combined with the responsible behaviour of fans, led to a trouble-free evening.

Speaking to the Herald the day after the match, he said, “We wanted everyone to have fun in safety during the day and that happened.

“Once again it shows that the vast majority of fans are law-abiding and peaceful.

“The next test for Sussex Police comes this evening (Friday) when England take on Sweden, with kick off at 7.45pm.

The later start has the potential for longer pre-match drinking than the opening fixture, and, with the added attraction of it being a Friday night, pubs are expecting to be busier.