Police have appealed to English football fans to be extra vigilant at matches this season as it seeks to clamp down on potential terror attacks at stadia.
According to Sky News, terrorist groups are seeking crowded places to carry out attacks and football stadia could be among possible targets after similar attacks in other countries.
In November 2015, three suicide bombers detonated their devices near the Stade de France in Paris during an international football match between France and Germany.
A twin bomb attack also hit the Vodafone Arena, the home of Turkish Süper Lig club Beşiktas, in December 2016 just hours after Beşiktaş beat Bursaspor 2-1 at the venue.
Although an attack is yet to take place on a football stadium in England, 22 people were killed when a suicide bomber hit the Manchester Arena in May of last year.
Nick Aldworth, chief superintendent of the Metropolitan Police, has now said that although there is no information about a specific attack on a football stadium, fans can help the police with its effort to prevent such attacks.
“We want (fans) to think about what they might do in the event of an attack and we want them to be really, really vigilant,” Aldworth said.
“And not to be inhibited about reporting stuff to us. If it’s trivial to you, it might be significant to us. Don’t worry about it – just tell us and leave it to us to sort it out.”
Aldworth also said fans will see greater security presence at games in the 2018-19 season, but added that supporters can also expect more covert surveillance as part of the initiative.
“A lot of places will have very overt security like dogs, they will have a policing presence outside, they will have a strong security and stewarding presence on the inside.
“But, importantly, there will be quite a lot of security measures that people won’t see. There will be some covert resources.”
Image: West Midlands Police