Brent Police unable to ‘fully enforce’ street drinking ban when Chelsea and Liverpool fans flock to Wembley Stadium
Around 90,000 sports lovers expected in the borough for FA Cup Final
Brent Police have admitted they will be unable to stop football fans drinking on the streets of Wembley when they flock to the borough tomorrow (Saturday).
Brent is a Controlled Drinking Zone, meaning police officers and PCSOs have the power to confiscate alcohol from anyone boozing in a public place, but the rule is usually relaxed unless they is a major event at Wembley Stadium.
Despite police announcing they would be enforcing the rule during the FA Cup semi-finals last month, thousands of Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur fans openly drank in front of officers on the streets.
However, with the FA Cup Final between Liverpool and Chelsea taking place tomorrow and around 90,000 sports lovers expected in Wembley the police have admitted it will be difficult to enforce the rule.
A police spokeswoman said: “With up to 90,000 fans arriving often with their own drink, it is clear that the street drinking ban cannot be fully enforced with the resources we have.
“In this first year it is more about education of the local alcohol industry, football fans coming to Wembley and those officers policing the event. It will take time to eradicate these issues.
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“We will take action were appropriate.”
Martin Francis, of Saltcroft Close, Wembley, snapped fans openly drinking at last month’s semi-final.
He said: “I have spoken to several policemen who remarked that they can make the by-law but it would very difficult to enforce and could easily lead to confrontations with fans.
“Other ways of dealing with this problem should be looked as such as restricting drinking perhaps to certain areas of particular streets – rather than having a by-law which is unenforceable.
“When I took the pictures of fans drinking near police I wanted to show that you really should not introduce a by-law which is ignored because that undermines respect for the law in general.”
On average it costs �3,000 to clean up after a football match at Wembley.
Brent Council foots half the bill while the other half is charged to The FA.
The FA Cup Final kick-off starts at 5.15pm instead of the traditional 3pm in order to maximise television audience.
However the late start will leave thousand of Liverpool fans stranded in Wembley overnight as engineering works on railways are set to cause travel havoc.
The pre-planned engineering works on the London to Liverpool line will leave the fans unable to return by train.