Authorities are as delighted as the rest of the country that England have reached the semi-finals of the World Cup after their 2-0 victory over Sweden.
However, police are far less impressed with the way some local ‘fans’ chose to celebrate – including one who thought it was appropriate to call 999 to shout “It’s Coming Home” and others who blocked roads and climbed onto cars and bus shelters.
Chief Superintendent Darren Downs said: “Saturday night was our busiest of the year so far – even busier than New Year’s Eve which is usually our most demanding day of the year.
“At New Year we usually get around 1,800 calls – 600 of which are to 999. On Saturday we got 2,010 calls and 820 were to 999
“With the combination of the glorious weather, numerous big events across the force and the fantastic result for England, it was always going to be busy and we had extra staff on to help us answer the calls and ensure we could get to those who needed us as quickly as possible.
“What was frustrating was the number of them that were completely inappropriate and could have stopped people whose lives were at risk from getting through straight away.
“Another issue we had was dealing with the – albeit well-meaning – disruption as fans took to the streets to celebrate. I’m sure you’ve all seen the footage in the media of fans flooding out into the streets and climbing on bus shelters and vans.
“It’s great to see everyone so passionate about cheering England on and the amount of national pride people have, but when people start throwing glass bottles and climbing onto moving vehicles – especially when they’ve had a bit to drink – it’s just a recipe for someone to end up getting seriously hurt.
“We don’t want to be killjoys and we’re looking forward to Wednesday’s match as much as everyone else.
“We’ve already got extra staff in place to help us keep you all safe and having fun.
“All I would ask is, no matter what the result is, enjoy yourself, celebrate how far we’ve come and look after each other without putting yourself or anyone else at risk. It’s no fun waking up in a hospital bed or one of our cells – and you don’t want to miss the final, do you?”