World Cup 2018: Former England stars join counter terrorism police to give football fans security advice

Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth, the new National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare Policing, was in Leeds today to launch the campaign.
Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth, the new National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare Policing, was in Leeds today to launch the campaign.

Former England stars Alan Shearer, David Seaman and Paul Parker have teamed up with Counter Terrorism Policing to offer football fans security advice ahead of the World Cup.

The ex-internationals feature in video messages explaining how fans can keep themselves and others safe while gathering to watching games.

Read more: Buying tickets for the FIFA 2018 World Cup finals in Russia? Don't fall foul of the scammers

It is part of a summer-long security campaign aimed at protecting crowded places.

With the tournament kicking off tonight, thousands of people are expected to watch matches on screens in city centres, football grounds and fan parks up and down the UK.

While there is no intelligence to indicate an increased threat to World Cup screenings or any other summer events, the new National Coordinator for Protect and Prepare Policing wants the public to know the 'game plan' for better security.

Speaking at Millennium Square in Leeds this morning, Chief Superintendent Nick Aldworth said: “Our summer security messaging is designed to remind everyone that our security, just like a World Cup-winning campaign, is a team effort and we all have a part to play.

“Sadly we have seen that these big public events and crowded spaces can be targeted by those who want to cause harm, but I want to reassure the public that the police, partners and the event organisers are doing all we can to keep them safe and secure.

"Some of that protection can be seen with visible security guards and local officers and a significant amount of the security measures will be less obvious and are deployed for extra protection."

Read more: Police need our help to thwart future terror plots

Police security experts will again be working in partnership with local authorities and event organisers to ensure that safety and security remains top of the agenda.

But fans are being asked to play their part too by watching the new videos, making themselves aware of safety advice and being ready to act if they spot any suspicious behaviour or activity.

“Don’t think you might be wasting our time, it is always better to be safe than sorry," Chief Supt Aldworth said.

"If something doesn't look or feel right, tell someone. We want you to enjoy the games, enjoy the atmosphere and by remaining vigilant we can all stay safe.”

CT Policing’s Know The Game Plan messages have already been adopted and supported throughout the season by the Premier League and English Football League.

Specialist advice for companies operating in crowded places is also available on the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NACTSO) website.

It is split into different sectors such as major events, sport stadia, visitor attractions, bars, theatres and shopping centres.

Read more: Yorkshire’s counter-terror chief warns ‘unprecedented’ threat of deadly attacks continues

Key advice for anyone attending an event this summer

• Arrive early and minimise what you carry. Fewer bag searches speed up entry in events.

• Be vigilant: If you see anything suspicious, tell a member of staff straight away.

• If you see anything which could pose an immediate threat to safety, all 999.

• In an emergency, listen to and follow public address instructions.

• If told to evacuate, do not wait around or film on your mobile phone.

• Move right away from the area quickly to allow emergency workers access.

• Once you are safe, follow the local police force on social media for updates.