Euro 2020: Police were ‘held back’ from confronting Wembley chaos, cop says
A police officer has claimed the force was “held back” from confronting the Wembley chaos, as ticketless intruders tried to force their way into the Euro 2020 final.
He said the football fans were “roaming round in packs” and police officers wanted to “chase them off properly as we could see that the stewards didn’t care.”
But he and his colleagues “weren’t allowed” to take the action they thought was appropriate.
He added there was also not enough police officers along Wembley Way and only had “one line of police holding a sea of people back.”
“It looked quite a miserable deployment,” he told The Times.
“The best we did was manhandle them down the ramps away from the stadium.”
The officer – who spoke anonymously – claimed the alleged the officers didn’t intervene more robustly was “all about the brand image.”
He added: “It is just annoying we are held back from doing our job. We are in public order gear for a reason.”
While officers should not be “let off the chain”, he said “many of those in charge are hesitant to let us put (helmets) on or get robust with those that need it”.
The officer said the ticketless fans were attempting to break in until the penalty shootout, adding the stewards were “absolutely useless” and “completely unprofessional”.
UEFA is investigating after individuals without tickets breached security at the stadium.
The officer said it was “quite clear” some of the stewards were directing intruders, while others stood looking at their phones.
They had “absolutely no interest in doing their job”, he alleged, adding: “We were posted at a temporary security wall they put up as people were just pushing through gaps.
“When we arrived all the security (staff) walked off. We did the best we could but it is very frustrating.”
It was worrying that officers were not carrying riot shields and were a “five-minute run” from getting them, he said.
Scotland Yard told Sky News it would not be commenting on the story in The Times.
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