Football troublemakers are being warned to think again by Sussex Police – ahead of the 2014 World Cup which kicks off in Brazil in just two days’ time.
The force is warning any potential trouble makers that extra patrols will be on duty across Sussex during and after high-profile matches to respond to any public disorder incidents.
And local officers have been working with local authorities and licensees from pubs and clubs in Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford to deter trouble before it starts.
“Our main aim is to make this another safe and trouble-free tournament,” said Chief Superintendent Nev Kemp.
“Recent international football tournaments have been largely trouble free on the streets of Sussex.
“For example two years ago during the European Championships there was just one football-related arrest on the three England group match nights.
“We want people to enjoy themselves but not to the detriment of others so our approach will be friendly, but firm with anyone who uses the event as an excuse to cause trouble.
“The vast majority of supporters are law-abiding and peaceful and we look forward to enjoying the highs and lows of the World Cup with them.
“In addition to extra police patrols, we have a wide variety of legal powers which can and will be used if necessary.
“We also have powers to stop individuals drinking in public, and powers to require people to disperse from specific areas, if we think they are likely to cause or are causing trouble.
“Arrest can follow if they fail to comply. Think of the dispersal order as the yellow and red card scheme. A yellow card means you must leave the area.
“If you don’t you get the red card - arrest.”
“Sussex also has a large number of visitors and students from abroad, and indeed people from abroad who now live here, and whose teams may progress through the tournament and we want them to be able to enjoy it too.
“There will be firm but fair and friendly policing. Enjoy yourself but we will not tolerate illegal behaviour.
“If you are planning to watch matches in pubs, clubs or other venues in Sussex, enjoy yourself and have a great time, but also; Do be drink aware - watch your purse/ wallet/ phone; Plan ahead, go to the cash point before you have a drink, know how you’re getting home at the end of the evening, know your route.”