UK police to patrol at World Cup in Germany

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The Independent Online

Soccer thugs will face fast-track justice at the hands of British prosecutors at next year's football World Cup in Germany.

Soccer thugs will face fast-track justice at the hands of British prosecutors at next year's football World Cup in Germany.

For the first time, a special team of law enforcers from the Crown Prosecution Service will be sent out to deal with hooligans instead of waiting for them to be extradited.

CPS lawyers will be at police stations to decide on the maximum charge that can imposed on each offender, and they will supervise police as they prepare evidence.

The CPS and police are also planning a "zero tolerance" campaign against hooligans subject to banning orders. They will face prosecution if there is evidence they are planning to attend a match, even if intercepted on a train several hundred miles away.

As many as 70,000 English fans are expected to attend the 2006 World Cup which starts in June. Police have already identified 3,000 fans as potential troublemakers and have banned them from attending.

Uniformed British police will be on patrol for the first time in Germany to monitor fans. And there are plans to use micro-chip technology to tag every match ticket. If trouble breaks out police and stewards carrying hand-held scanners will be able to identify exactly where it is coming from.

The plan to send CPS prosecutors to Germany will be unveiled this week at a conference on football violence.