More police drafted in for big day

EXTRA police resources will be drafted into Ipswich on Saturday to ensure a big sporting day passes off peacefully.Rugby fans are expected to take advantage of early pub opening times to watch England's World Cup final against Australia.

EXTRA police resources will be drafted into Ipswich on Saturday to ensure a big sporting day passes off peacefully.

Rugby fans are expected to take advantage of early pub opening times to watch England's World Cup final against Australia.

And with Ipswich's match against Sheffield United at Portman Road a few hours later, officers are aware it could be a long day.

But police remain cautiously optimistic that the volatile mix of longer drinking hours and a sporting double-header, allied to a deluge of Christmas shoppers, will not pose undue problems in the town centre.

An Ipswich police spokeswoman said: "Historically with rugby matches we don't have a lot of problems.

"We want people to enjoy the game and celebrate if we win and just to enjoy the occasion if not."

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The extra resources used to maintain law and order will be in the form of additional hours for existing match-day officers rather than more police being drafted in.

Chief inspector Chris Mayhew, who oversees policing in Ipswich, said some pubs will be selling alcohol from as early as 8.30am – half an hour before England and Australia are due to kick-off at the Telstra Stadium in Sydney.

He said: "Eight licenced premises around the town have been granted liquor extensions from 8.30am in the morning and it is envisaged that other pubs may open but will not be selling liquor.

"There will be extra police resources around the town and officers will attend these licenced premises in the morning."

"With the expectation of larger groups around the town watching the Rugby World Cup final, officers will be starting earlier in the day to police the Ipswich vs Sheffield United game."

The pubs granted liquor extensions are: The Cock and Pye, The Victoria, Chicago Rock Café, P J McGintys, Milestone Beer House, The Plough and the Station Hotel

N For the latest news on the Rugby World Cup final see pages…………..

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