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South Yorkshire police chief to help at Brazil World Cup

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A police officer is swapping the streets of South Yorkshire for Sao Paulo.

Chief Superintendent Rachel Barber, who co-ordinates policing operations in South Yorkshire, has been selected to travel to Brazil to help police England football supporters during the World Cup.

She will liaise with the Brazilian authorities on behalf of officers from England travelling to the football tournament in a bid to help keep the peace.

Working with the Football Supporters’ Federation she will also relay policing and safety messages to fans.

Chief Supt Barber, who started policing football matches as a bobby before rising through the ranks and becoming a match day commander and then put in charge of Operational Support Services, said she is honoured at her appointment in Brazil.

Her tour of the South American country will last as long as England remain in the competition.

She is due to land ahead of the English team and their supporters in a bid to help plan the massive policing operation in and around a host of cities across Brazil, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Manaus. Fellow South Yorkshire police officer and Premiership referee, Howard Webb, is also travelling to Brazil to officiate some games.

His performance in the last World Cup in South Africa earned him the tournament final.

Chief Supt Barber, who admits she is not a football fan, said: “I am proud to have been given this role and it probably helps that I am not a football fan as I won’t be bothered about missing any of the games - I will be concentrating solely on the policing of them.

“I did a pre-tournament visit to the three cities where England will be playing the groups stages to meet Brazilian colleagues and to look at the stadia and identify where the England supporters are likely to go.”

 

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