South Yorkshire Police warn against using flares ahead of the England v Slovakia game tonight
A police chief has warned Doncaster football fans over the '˜dangerous' use of flares in the street, ahead of England's clash against Slovakia tonight.
The move comes after revellers celebrating England’s victory over Wales brought traffic on Silver Street to a standstill as hundreds of cheering fans congregated in the middle of the road.
One flare landed under a young child’s pram, while videos and pictures taken by onlookers showed how one fan had climbed on top of a number 76 bus that had been forced to stop because of the crowds.
Other fans were caught taking off their shirts and climbing on top of bus stops.
One woman’s posting on social media said a flare let off in the street during the post-match celebrations landed under her grandson’s pushchair and ‘burst into life’.
She said: “Luckily he was not hurt. Where were the police?”
Supt Colin McFarlane, force lead for antisocial behaviour and violent crime at South Yorkshire Police, said: “Setting off flares is dangerous and puts lives at risk. Anyone found to be committing this act will be dealt with.”
He added: “As we approach England’s final game in the group stages, I would urge fans to think carefully about their behaviour during and after the match.
“While we don’t want to prevent people from enjoying themselves, criminal damage and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and could result in you being arrested.
“We ask that you don’t put yourself or others at risk by allowing alcohol to impair your judgement and, or increase the risk of your behaviour becoming aggressive and anti-social.
“Committing antisocial behaviour or a violent crime could lead to a fine, a criminal behaviour order or even a prison sentence.
“Being drunk is not an excuse for criminal behaviour and you will be dealt with in the same way as any other offender.”
Police were called to Silver Street at around 4.15pm on Thursday to deal with crowds walking into oncoming traffic.
Officers closed the busy town centre road for around half an hour as they made Silver Street safe for motorists and pedestrians. Buses and traffic was diverted.
A police spokesman said no arrests were made during the post-match celebrations.
England are due to play Slovakia at 8pm tonight in the final match of the group stage of the European tournament.