‘Few pockets of disorder’

Italy's Mario Balotelli celebrates his winning goal
Italy's Mario Balotelli celebrates his winning goal

POLICE had a busy weekend as England’s World Cup campaign kicked off - but insisted their arrest and disorder figures were “normal”.

With England’s game against Italy not getting underway until 11pm on Saturday night, there were widespread fears that drink-related disorder could rocket.

Cleveland Police had also issued warnings over domestic abuse and drink driving prior to the tournament getting underway.

And while there were 37 incidents of domestic abuse from 7am on Saturday until the same time the following morning, seven of which were in Hartlepool, roadside breath tests on Sunday morning resulted in not a 
single positive test.

The majority of other calls related to the World Cup centred around boisterous house parties, while any disorder in Hartlepool town centre was dealt with by direction to leave orders being issued to offenders.

Chief Superintendent Glen Gudgeon, the force’s Head of Operations Command, said: “We are pleased that the vast majority of football fans heeded the advice police 
issued beforehand.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that our message remains the same for the remainder of the tournament – emotions can run high but there is never an excuse for domestic abuse, disorder or antisocial behaviour.

“Similarly I would remind drivers to be aware that having a few drinks while watching football can lead to you being over the limit the following morning.

“If you know you are going to be driving the next morning, please stick to soft drinks.

“Saturday night saw officers out and about interacting with the public and enjoying the mainly jovial atmosphere.

“As the night went on there were a few pockets of minor disorder which officers were prepared for.

“These were dealt with quickly and effectively, mainly by the use of directions to leave.”