Euro-2012 football championship officially starts today in Ukraine and Poland. Events of such scale always attract hooligans, terrorists and other criminal personalities. Ukrainian police forces started to prepare to the event many months before the championship: they held special trainings to learn how to calm down organized groups of fans and separate hooligans, how to reveal pickpockets and how to resist panic of the crowd.

During the presentation of the Euro-2012 security HQ in the Interior Ministry, the officials assured ForUm that aggressive fans and chicken thieves will not spoil the Euro festival. Interior Ministry officials informed that both street patrols and video surveillance cameras will secure public order during the tournament. The real-time video shootings go directly to the monitors of the HQ. Hence, police forces can follow the situation in the streets not leaving the premises.

The camera lens is zoomed at sports stadiums, fan zones, tourist attractions in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lviv. More than 300 video cameras are filming in all four cities, the head of the Mass Events and Euro-2012 Department and of the Public Safety Department of Internal Ministry of Ukraine Oleh Matveytsov said.

Starting from June 4, the operational headquarters is working around the clock, until getting special orders. According to the Internal Ministry spokesperson Serhyi Burlakov, this is a kind of the "nerve center" of the police for the period of hosting the championship. The headquarters staff is required to monitor the situation in Ukraine. In case of emergency, they should contact the law enforcement officers at the local level and to coordinate their actions. Each staff officer is responsible for a certain region. For example, this police captain is monitoring the situation in Lutsk, Zhytomyr and Kyiv regions.

Back-up forces of 110 foreign police officers from 14 countries have already arrived in Ukraine. The foreign officers will help Ukrainian forces to maintain public order and prevent mass disorders. Starting from June 6 the foreign law enforcement forces are working in the International center of police forces cooperation under the National academy of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine.

Police officer Ihor Forishenko from Poland tells us that candidates for joint operations in Ukraine were chosen among the officers with international working experience. In particular, Ihor himself worked in the Balkans during the war, where he made friends with Ukrainian peacemakers. He is not a big fan of football, but today will certainly support Poland's national team in its match against Greece.

The International Centre is also equipped with monitors, which show the image filmed with the street cameras. The center's employees told ForUm that the cameras have already helped to solve one crime – the theft of a car on the Square of Slava in Kyiv.

ForUm wishes the fans, guests, tourists and all the Ukrainians not ever to become the central figures of the police criminal news. After all, if we are to really make the history of Euro 2012, we’d rather do it with good humor and positive attitude to the championship and its guests.


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