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‘Much less arrests than expected’ during Euro 2012 says Interior Minister

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 02.07.2012 11:07
Poland’s interior minster has said that 600 people, mostly Poles, were detained by police during Euro 2012 – far fewer than police had expected.


“The [figure] of 600 arrest, and 200 court cases, is much less than expected,” Minister Jacek Cichocki told the TVP public broadcaster Monday morning.

From a security standpoint, the most difficult moment for the police was on 12 June, when around 100 Polish hooligans fought Russian fans and police before and after the Poland versus Russia match in Warsaw.

There a number of low-level drunken brawls in some areas for the three weeks of the championships, which began on 8 June and lasted till 1 July.

On raising the security alarm level to ‘amber’ after a small packet of explosives was found on a raft on the River Bug in eastern Poland last week, Jacek Cichocki said that: “We decided that this was the moment in which to improve the preparedness of security services, not only in cities where the matches were taking place, but also throughout the country”.

“I will recommend to the prime minister that the state of alert should now be lowered,” he added.

Of the BBC Panorama documentary Stadiums of Hate, which painted Poland and Ukraine as countries not safe for Black, Asian and Jewish fans to attend football matches, Cichocki said that he hadn’t even received a reply to a letter of complaint he sent to the UK’s public broadcaster.

Advertising expert, Dr. Andrzej Świątecki from Warsaw University told Polish Radio Monday morning that he did not think the controversial documentary would have lasting damage to Poland’s image abroad.

He noted that even England fans, in Poland and Ukraine, protested against the programme, telling former England captain, Sol Campbell – who warned that black fans “could come back in a coffin” if they attended matches at Euro 2012 – to “mind his own business” .

Dr. Świątecki said the memories foreign fans would take away from Euro 2012 in Poland would be of “hospitality, openness, good language skills and beautiful women”. (pg)

tags: Euro 2012
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