Lollipops to calm soccer hooligans
Published 03/06/2010 | 07:41
Riot shields, high-powered water cannons and tear gas are usually the weapons of choice for police battling brawling football hooligans.
But for this World Cup, one London council has found a tasty alternative to tackle the yobs - lollipops.
Although many known troublemakers have had their passports taken by the authorities to stop them causing trouble in South Africa, concerns about behaviour in the UK's cities and towns remain.
Sutton Council believes the best way to calm a baying mob of angry England fans once Fabio's men almost inevitably crash out on penalties is to hand them sweets and bottled water.
Councillor Graham Tope, Executive Member for Community Safety, said: "Sutton is a popular place to have a night out and we want everyone to enjoy an exciting World Cup.
"Noise and aggro coming from pubs and clubs can be a pain but a lolly or drink of water can calm things down.
"Rehydrated fans quietly sucking on lollies means cheaper policing and quieter A&E departments."
Martin Furtauer-Hayes, chairman of Sutton Pubwatch, said: "The lollipops really do work. If people are sucking on a lolly, they're too preoccupied to cause a disturbance. The sugar also helps keep people's heads clear."
The lollipops will be handed out by staff at pubs and volunteers from churches will dish out the water in the town centre after big matches
The 5,000 bottles of water and 5,000 lollipops were donated by supermarket Asda.