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Saturday, 1 June, 2002, 07:08 GMT 08:08 UK
Praise for World Cup police
Japanese police
Police have been diplomatic in the face of tension
Japanese police have been praised for their handling of English fans by a British police adviser.

Durham Police Assistant Chief Constable Ron Hogg is helping his Japanese counterparts at the World Cup.

Speaking at the British embassy in Tokyo, he reported that there had been no trouble and no arrests of England fans ahead of Sunday's match against Sweden.


Our intelligence is that known hooligans plan to stay away from the tournament

Assistant chief constable Ron Hogg
He said: "We are very happy with the pragmatic response of the Japanese police.

"I think they will act sensibly.

"They usually have a rigid view about the commission of offences, but I think they are using plenty of discretion, as we have asked."

He illustrated the point with the case of English fans arguing over the cost of some food in Tokyo.

"The Japanese police intervened rapidly and the incident was soon settled to everyone's satisfaction," he said.

About 3,500 England fans have arrived in Japan so far and that number is expected to double before the Sweden match.

Asst chief constable Hogg said 22 people had been refused entry to Japan and Korea so far, 10 of them following information supplied by the British, the others by the local authorities acting alone.

Unruly elements

British police are also monitoring two bars in Thailand where potential troublemakers, hoping to travel to Japan, had gathered.

The Durham police officer said they would not be allowed to make the journey.

Some people are using circuitous routes, such as flying via Moscow and Hong Kong, to try to get in, but still had to face thorough checks at the airports.

It emerged that banning orders in England had risen to 1,031.

He said: "Our intelligence is that known hooligans plan to stay away from the tournament.

"Reasons for this included successful police operations in the past to turn hooligans back at UK ports and airports - only one person had been turned back in Britain so far this time - and new powers given to the authorities since the disturbances which marred Euro 2000."

However, he conceded that in hooliganism terms the tournament was "very low risk".

"It is not as easily accessible as Belgium and Holland," he said.

"We all know there are unruly elements in the football community and we need longer term grassroots solutions."


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 LINEKER'S VERDICT
Gary Lineker

See also:

19 May 02 | England
09 May 02 | Business
07 Feb 02 | England
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