British police issue new guidelines to improve security at football stadia

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London, Aug 10 (IANS) The British police on Thursday issued new guidelines to help improve security at the country’s football stadia.

Representatives from the major clubs across the country attended counter-terrorism awareness workshops at Wembley here and Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, reports Xinhua news agency.

Football supporters, in advice directed at them, have also been told not to wait around to film incidents on their mobile cellphones if told to evacuate in emergency situations.

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office has been working with the English Premier League (EPL), English Football League (EFL) and Football Association (FA) to help improve stadium security.

Police Superintendent Dave Roney, Deputy National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare, said: “While there is no specific intelligence of an increased threat to football grounds in the UK, we have seen that terrorists are prepared to carry out attacks on this type of target.

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“We have been pleased with the response from the football authorities in attending our events and making renewed efforts to do all they can to keep supporters safe.”

Clubs have been told to give safety advice to supporters, including urging them to minimise what they carry, such as bags, to enable searches to be speeded up and if told to evacuate leave immediately.

The advice follows the recent bomb attack on the Manchester Arena as well as terror attacks in London.

Although football stadiums in Britain have never been targeted by terrorists, stadia in Europe have been attacked.

More than 800,000 fans attend Premier League matches in England each season, with many of the big stadiums capable of holding up to 76,000 supporters.

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–IANS

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