Met Police: We ‘regret being unable to do more' to prevent Euro 2020 final disorder

Met Police: We ‘regret being unable to do more’ to prevent Euro 2020 final disorder
© PA Wire England Fans File Photo

The Met Police has said it regrets being unable to prevent “unacceptable scenes of disorder” as fans stormed Wembley Stadium for the Euro 2020 final.

It comes after an independent review led by Baroness Casey into the violence on July 11 concluded there were a series of crowd “near misses” which “could have led to significant injuries or even death”.

In what Baroness Casey described as “a source of national shame”, around 2,000 people without tickets managed to get into the stadium as England took on Italy.

The report, commissioned by the FA and published on Friday, said policing at the game “did not sufficiently mitigate the risk of ticketless fans, with officers deployed too late in the day”.

Much of what unfolded was “foreseeable” and there was a “collective failure to plan for the worst case scenario”, the review said.

Met Police Commander Rachel Williams said she was “deeply sorry” that people were met “with unacceptable scenes of disorder.”

“We welcome the praise by Baroness Casey on the bravery of officers in directly confronting scenes of disorder. Her comments sets out the unprecedented pressure officers faced, they are a credit to policing,” she said.

“Throughout the course of the day, this moment of national significance was tarnished by groups of ticketless, anti-social and thuggish football fans who were intent on causing disorder and committing criminal acts.

“We regret that we were not able to do more to prevent those scenes unfolding.”

Baroness Casey found ticketless fans “attacked the stadium”, and so bear responsibility for the risk to life.

Met Police: We ‘regret being unable to do more’ to prevent Euro 2020 final disorder
© Provided by Evening Standard (PA Wire)

Many of those who stormed the ground headed for disabled-pass gates, and targeted disabled supporters “in a predatory fashion near the turnstiles”, she said.

In her scathing report,  Baroness Casey wrote: “The drunkenness, drug-taking, irresponsibility, criminality and abuse of innocent people, including staff, families and disabled ticket-holders, was shocking and intolerable.”

She said she hoped the authorities apply the toughest possible punishments for the perpetrators, and that FA staff were so concerned about safety, some felt “huge relief” that the match ended in an England defeat.

The violence towards police was “appalling”, she said, as she praised officers for working with “considerable skill and courage” to stablise the situation shortly after kick-off.

Baroness Casey’s recommendations include a more joined-up approach between Wembley and the Met to manage public safety on match days, and strengthening safety plans.

She also urged the Government to consider a new category for matches of national significance, and a review of stewarding.

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