Police keep an eye on several Northamptonshire pubs during England game

England's Danny Welbeck (right) scores their third goal of the game against Sweden
England's Danny Welbeck (right) scores their third goal of the game against Sweden

Almost 20 pubs in the north of the county will be closely monitored by police on Sunday in a bid to quell any potential disorder during England’s game against Italy.

Northamptonshire Police will check on 18 pubs in Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, and Rushden, all of which are licensed premises and are showing the highly anticipated football game on big screens.

A total of 34 pubs and clubs across the county will be closely monitored during the Euro 2012 qaurter final this weekend, but police have said the tournament has passed peacefully in Northamptonshire, with only seven football related arrests between June 8 and June 19.

Of those seven incidents, four were on licensed premises – two football-related domestic incidents have also been recorded.

There has been one football-related arrest, and one person with a football banning order – who was required to remain in this country – was also arrested.

Chief Superintendent Simon Blatchly, who is leading the Euro 2012 policing operation in Northamptonshire, said: “Responsible drinking is the key to a safe and successful tournament. We have been working constructively with licensees in the run up to the tournament and they are aware that they have responsibilities in this area too.

“The fact that we are running at such a low number of football-related incidents speaks volumes about the behaviour of fans watching the games in pubs and clubs and we hope that standard will be maintained on Sunday evening.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves and have fun. However, if you become abusive and hostile and commit crimes or anti-social behaviour, then we will come down on you very hard indeed.”

Seven pubs in Kettering will be monitored, four in both Wellingborough and Rushden, and three in Corby will be checked.

Police will use a Leisurezone operation in the county’s towns - normally reserved for Fridays and Saturdays - in anticipation of greater numbers in town centres than normal on a Sunday evening.

Officers have been instructed to readily use Section 27 orders which can remove potential troublemakers from town centres for 48 hours.