WEST Mercia Police is extensively planning to ensure that the appropriate numbers of officers and staff are on duty this week, after the England football team's success has led them to the semi finals of The World Cup. Many are expected to head to local bars and pubs to watch England's match against Croatia tonight at 7pm.

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, said: ''You will not have failed to see the national headlines about the pressures on policing at this current time as a result of the World Cup football matches, the summer weather and many other local events and activities on going. We have also had to deploy a large number of our resources to London in support of the visit of the US President.

''Against this backdrop, this week will provide some significant challenges to West Mercia Police and therefore we have been working to plan and prepare for a busy and demanding week ahead.

''It is our absolute commitment to ensure that if you are in need of our help we will be there to provide this. We will be increasing the numbers of officers and staff on shifts throughout the week to try to maintain our emergency response times. However, we do also need the public's ongoing help and support and ask that you only call if absolutely necessary."

John Campion said: ''England's World Cup progress has put a smile on all our faces, but there have been times when that excitement has gone too far. We have all seen the videos of people jumping off bus stops, damaging ambulances and getting into fights.''

''That sort of behaviour has nothing to do with football. It creates unnecessary headaches for our police, ambulances and hospitals, and just ends up costing a huge amount of public money.''

''I am reassured that our police are well prepared for the World Cup and I am confident that is the case for Wednesday's match too. I am grateful to all of the officers and staff who will be working hard to keep us all safe. A very small proportion of our community will go too far and place avoidable strain on our hard working emergency services. I would appeal to all fans to enjoy the football safely and responsibly"