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Shops report extra sales of televisions and meat grills
Football fans have been warned drunk and disorderly conduct will not be tolerated in Watford as police ready themselves for 1am pub closings in the town centre.
Hertfordshire Constabulary are stepping up patrols along the High Street and Parade area, where a number of pubs are due to show the England World Cup match tomorrow.
Police have been in contact with the town’s drinking establishments and have access to a specialist public disorder unit should any violence break out.
Those with banning orders have been spoken to and asked to surrender their passports to ensure they cannot attend matches in Brazil.
Inspector Nick Lillitou said it is a case of hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
He said: "We are expecting no disorder.
"For the England matches additional resources will be in place.
"Local officers will be out looking for people who are pre-loaded and already highly intoxicated.
"We have powers we can use and if necessary we will ask people to leave so they do not become a problem, or if they have bottles or open vessels.
"It’s about dealing with people early."
The police’s intervention teams will also be on the streets, as normal for Friday and Saturday nights in Watford.
Inspector Lillitou said the later pub opening times was a concern, some establishments are planning to stay open to 1am for first England match.
He said: "We have been in contact with licensed premises, they have approved door staff, CCTV, plastic glasses, none of this buy one get one free on drinks.
"We are working with Watford council and partners to ensure the town is safe and the building sites will be gone.
"We want people to come and enjoy the football, enjoy the matches, behave and respect others.
"We will be firm, fair, engaged and approachable."
One town centre pub planning to stay open is the Wetherspoon operated The Moon Under Water.
Management said the game would be shown on screens in the pub.
Lucy Tarren said: "We have trained people on the doors.
"Our bar staff are trained to know when someone should not be served.
"I’m hoping it will be a really good night."
Family-orientated events are also planned in the Parade in celebration of the World Cup.
And police say their activity will have a strong community feel.
Inspector Lillitou said officers will be local Watford officers, they will have a high visibility and the aim is not to impose conditions but to ensure people behave sensibly, responsibly and respectfully.
The town’s electrical stores have been inundated with people coming in to buy the latest televisions.
John Lewis Watford has seen its sales of TVs, tablets and kitchen gadgets soar as shoppers prepare for Brazilian themed parties and the summer of sport.
The store said sales of TVs are up 48 per cent, with customers especially interested in Samsung curve TVs. The OptiGrill meat grill has also seen an increase in sales of 200 per cent.
Ed Connolly, buying director, Electrical and Home Technology, John Lewis, said: "Our customers are rushing to snap up the latest tech to make sure they get closer to the action. It’s no wonder TVs and tablets are flying off the shelves as there's never been a better time, or reason, to upgrade."
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