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Police scour London's airports for World Cup hooligans

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Guy Smith | 16:20 UK time, Wednesday, 9 June 2010

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Just two days to go and all eyes will be on the beautiful game.

The World Cup in South Africa kicks off on Friday with 32 nations battling it out for a month.

Yet before that, Scotland Yard says it's determined to prevent the uglier side of football travelling out to the matches to cause potential trouble.

Last week we reported on the Met issuing a warning to 310 Londoners, who are on banning orders: fail to surrender your passport and you'll be nicked.

Well, today we discovered the majority had handed in their travel documents.

Only 25 ignored the deadline and 11 of them so far have been arrested.

Today our cameras were invited to Terminal One at Heathrow to film the Met's specialist football "spotters".

They were airside looking out for a small hardcore of so-called hooligans intent on sneaking out to the games.

I'm told the ports operation, which includes London City Airport, will continue as long as England are in the World Cup.

Meanwhile, here in the capital, riot officers will be on standby to tackle drunken violence at clubs and pubs.

The Met is liaising with boroughs to identify possible flashpoints.

It'll be the England games on June 12th, 18th and 23rd which will be of most concern.

One final point: it's not just violence on the street that needs to be dealt with. During the last World Cup four years ago, there was a statistical spike in violence in the home.

This afternoon the head of Scotland Yard's public order unit Commander Bob Broadhurst explained more. Watch my TV report.

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