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Yobs banned from World Cup

PUBLISHED: 15:09 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:56 30 June 2010

Seventeen convicted football hooligans in Norfolk have been ordered to give up their passports for the duration of the World Cup - or risk being jailed.

Seventeen convicted football hooligans in Norfolk have been ordered to give up their passports for the duration of the World Cup - or risk being jailed.

The fans are subject to football banning orders and have also been told to sign in at their local police station during England's games to prove they have not left the country.

A Norfolk police spokesman said today it had a zero tolerance policy for anyone committing criminal offences associated with football and actively sought banning orders when those individuals were brought before the courts.

The spokesman said: “The 17 individuals from Norfolk required to hand in their passports for the duration of the World Cup are already subject to football banning orders and are well aware that handing in their passports is part of their punishment.

“Nationally, less than 10pc of those who are issued with banning orders re-offend, so this legislation is proven and effective and we will continue to ensure it is used effectively.”

Nationwide more than 3,000 fans with football banning orders were under instruction to hand in their passports by 10pm last night.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We do not expect any known risk fans to travel to South Africa, the overwhelming majority will be genuine fans. But we are taking no chances.

“More than 3,000 people with football banning orders are under instruction to hand in their passports - we had a 100pc success rate for Germany 2006 and have every reason to expect this will be repeated.”

Months of planning has also gone into how best to tackle any potential World Cup violence on the country's streets.

And there will be high-visibility police teams out and about in town and city centres when England line up to play their first game against the USA on Saturday, June 12.

Meanwhile, while Norfolk police are yet to reveal their strategy for policing the World Cup at home, the city's pubs are urging punters to enjoy themselves but also take care.

Certain pubs will be serving drinks in plastic glasses and some retailers are also supplying plastic bottles instead of bottled beer during the tournament.

Sue Coleman, chairman of Norfolk and Norwich Licensed Victuallers' Association (LVA) and landlady at The Stanley in north Norwich, said the message was for punters to enjoy themselves but also take care.

“Publicans in the city are really excited by the World Cup and are hoping this good weather continues. Most pubs in the city are getting onboard although a few are pledging to be world cup free zones, and we wish them well.

“We want people to enjoy themselves but also to take care.”

Nick De'ath, chairman of the Norwich City Centre Licensing Forum, which looks after the interests of licensees across the city, said any trouble in the past had generally been outside pubs.

He said: “I know the police are very proactive as are the venues. Plastic glasses will be used. And publicans are working on the promotions they will have, to ensure there's no irresponsible retailing. It's a time for everyone to have a good time. Anyone coming into the city to watch a match live in a pub is guaranteed a safe environment.”

Chris Higgins, landlord at the Trafford pub on Grove Road, Norwich, said his pub had a regular clientele and had experience of fans enjoying themselves before attending Norwich City matches.

He said: “Watching live matches at pubs creates a happy, upbeat atmosphere and we don't attract any elements that would cause trouble.”

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