Police will prioritise public disorder in pubs during England clash
- Credit: Norfolk Constabulary
Police have said their priority will be public disorder over "Covid-related" issues like social distancing and standing up in pubs when England play on Saturday.
Concerns have been raised in recent days about rule breaches when fans celebrated the key moments of England's win over Germany.
But, despite there being a "considerable amount" of extra officers on duty in Norwich and Norfolk for Saturday evening's quarter final against Ukraine, the focus will be on disorder, not rules, unless people are blatantly flouting them.
Norfolk's new temporary chief constable Paul Sanford said: "Our priorities are going to be preventing public disorder.
"Frankly, I don't want to be stepping in to deal with Covid-related restrictions. If we have to we will, but I'm most keen that my officers just encourage people to be sensible and then we can get on with policing."
Excitement is growing ahead of Saturday's clash in Rome which will be shown in pubs across Norwich and Norfolk this weekend.
Mr Sanford, who started his new role on Thursday (July 1) following Simon Bailey's retirement, called on fans to enjoy the game but also to be sensible.
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He said: "I would remind people that we are still in the middle of a pandemic and there's a highly contagious variant that is present in Norfolk so I would encourage everyone to be safe and sensible.
"I think the vast majority of the population now know how they should behave and will behave in the right way.
"For those that don't, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, the first direction I would give to my officers is to encourage and explain before we jump into enforcement."
Mr Sanford said there would be a "considerable amount of extra officers on duty this Saturday night in case there are any problems associated with the match".
"I have to say that so far, in the four games England have already played, the behaviour from fans has been impeccable.
"I would urge those watching the game this weekend to follow in that vein and be respectful of those that you are around and most of all to have fun.
"Frankly, if England get a good result on Saturday night I'm sure everything will be fine but in the unfortunate event of things not going our way we will have the resources on hand to deal with any issues that occur."