As thousands of football fans begin to make their way towards Cardiff for the UEFA Champions League Finals and Festival, British Transport Police is launching its nationwide security operation.
This week, four football teams will clash in two mighty matches at the Cardiff City Stadium and National Stadium of Wales. From Thursday through to Sunday afternoon, BTP will have an enhanced policing presence in the city and beyond in order to deter, detect and disrupt criminality and anti-social behaviour.
This will be a nationwide security operation for BTP, with officers joining football fans on board trains from Manchester, Birmingham and London. Of course, much of the focus will be fixed on the capital of Wales and our policing presence at Cardiff Central and other South Wales stations will be increased.
In support of the wider security operation, specialist resources will be deployed to Cardiff. This will be the first time that BTP firearms officers patrol a station outside of London as part of a major event. They will be positioned at key stations and able to respond to incidents on the railway or to assist colleagues at South Wales Police.
In addition to a firearms presence, our highly trained Specialist Response Unit (SRU) colleagues will also be in Cardiff during the event. Our SRU responds to reports of unattended items on the railway, they assess items and determine if they pose any threat to the public.
will also be deploying our police dogs.
Assistant Chief Constable Alun Thomas from British Transport Police, said:
“After months of meticulous planning we’re thrilled that the Champions League Finals and Festival has finally arrived. With some 170,000 fans expected to travel to the men’s final on Saturday, we are eagerly anticipating a busy and exciting event.
“Because of the large crowds expected, spectators and local residents can expect to see an enhanced policing operation from BTP during this festival of sport. Officers will be highly visible at stations throughout South Wales and will be on hand to offer their help in getting fans to the games safely. They’ll also be joining fans on board trains as they make their way to and from the National Stadium of Wales.
“Likewise, our highly trained firearms officers will also be on patrol in Cardiff to ensure that we have the capability to respond to any potential threats. This has been planned for some time and it is important to stress that this deployment is not in response to intelligence. Rather, we are making sure that our officers are able to respond quickly and decisively to any incident – whatever it may be.”
In the build up to this festival of sport, British Transport Police is also reminding travellers to remain highly vigilant and report suspicious or criminal behaviour to police officers.
ACC Thomas added:
“Passengers are the eyes and ears of the rail network and with many thousands of extra people traveling to Cardiff, I’d urge them to stay vigilant and report concerns to us. Nothing should be considered too trivial or insignificant – report it to us and my expert police officers will investigate.”
Anyone can report crime or suspicious behaviour to BTP by simply, and discreetly, sending a text to 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40. In an emergency always call 999.
All transport options in and out of Cardiff are expected to be extremely busy.
Football fans and local residents are urged to plan ahead if they intend on making their way to Cardiff. To plan your travel during the event, download the Cardiff 2017 Travel Guide App at Cardiff2017.wales/travelapp.
Advice and information on travel options can also be found by visiting cardiff2017.wales while you can get real time travel updates by following @Cardiff17Travel on Twitter.
Details on planned road closures can be found here