The English city of Liverpool has hosted the latest phase of the UEFA and European Union (EU) sponsored Pan European Football Police Training Project.
The session was attended by 50 police officers, all of whom are experienced in taking charge of different aspects of major football events across Europe.
For the last four years, UEFA's stadium and security unit and their partners in the pan-European Think Tank on Policing Football have driven this project forward as part of their joint working programme. Last week's event in north-west England continued the momentum of the previous training session in Ossendrecht in the Netherlands earlier in March.
Initial feedback from students has been encouraging, with widespread agreement that the programme has a broad practical relevance to their work, and has undoubtedly improved their understanding of the challenges of international football policing. All who have participated to date indicated in their feedback that they would highly recommend the training to their colleagues throughout the continent.
One of the unique aspects of the project is its focus on communication and dialogue with supporters and, indeed, the Liverpool event featured contributions from Football Supporters Europe (FSE) who brought the fans' perspective to the table.
The innovative approach taken during the session included the use of a special interactive multimedia application which exposes participants to realistic scenarios in the policing and safety management of UEFA competitions. UEFA's guiding principles on safety and security provided the foundations for the development of the training scheme.
Currently, a total of 200 police officers have completed the training course, with a further 50 scheduled to meet in Lisbon in September for the project's final phase. The success of the programme is concrete evidence of the benefits of the joint ongoing work between UEFA and its pan-European partners.
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