Scenes of fans climbing on cars, buses and ambulances after England’s win over Sweden at the weekend threatened to marr celebrations as the team prepared for their semi-final match last night.
Police were prepared for more trouble as the Three Lions took on Croatia but have thanked fans for holding back on alcohol-fuelled disorder.
Sadly, it just wasn’t meant to be for England at the 2018 World Cup. Heartbreak in Hyde Park, London, as England lose to Croatia. Despite a valiant effort, the team will come home without the Jules Rimet trophy after losing 2-1 to Croatia.
And while defeat is a huge disappointment, many were able to celebrate Gareth Southgate’s boys’ historic performance throughout the tournament.
Police said the vast majority of fans left pubs and parks ‘with their heads held high and without issue’ yesterday. The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said 387 football-related incidents were recorded at the weekend, mostly alcohol-related disorder. But last night the Metropolitan Police’s Football Unit said there were a ‘small number of incidents and arrests’ and thanked people for ‘making our job tonight easier’.
To everyone who supported us.
To everyone who believed this time was different.
To everyone who wasn't afraid to dream.
To everyone who knows this is only the beginning.
— England (@England) July 11, 2018
In Nottingham, where a taxi was smashed up after the 2-0 quarter-final victory against Sweden, more officers were drafted in – and some rest days cancelled – to quell any disorder. England fans destroy taxi during celebrations.
Steve Cooper, who led the policing operation, said: ‘We have made two arrests for domestic abuse-related offences, but the levels of criminal damage, disorder and antisocial behaviour that we saw on the weekend have not been repeated. ‘People have been really cooperative and patient while we closed a number of roads in the city centre to move on the crowds of people leaving Nottingham Castle and have made their way under instruction of uniformed colleagues.’
It took a moment to sink in for this England fan after the match. But Emergency services reported an increased number of calls following the final whistle.
London Ambulance Service said one 999 call was made for someone who had climbed and fallen from a lamppost. West Midlands Ambulance Service said that in the hour following the close of play, it had taken almost 240 999 calls compared to 120 while the game was on.
The service tweeted: ‘Come on West Midlands, show some dignity & respect towards each other! ‘Look how our 999 calls have rocketed after the final whistle with numerous assaults & fights reported.
A consoling part on the back and a final pint among friends in Birmingham. It wasn’t all rosy – one fan still wanted to climb a traffic light in Birmingham. Birmingham tried to keep spirits high after a stunning run of success leading up to the semi-final. But emergency services were called after several men went for a swim in the Birmingham canal after the defeat. Prince William, the president of the FA, led the words of thanks to the team in a statement posted on Twitter. He said: ‘I know how disappointed England must feel right now but I couldn’t be more proud of this team and you should hold your heads high.
‘You’ve had an incredible World Cup, made history, and gave us fans something to believe in. We know there is more to come from this England team.’