Return football match at The Hive builds Barnet Police relations with Swiss force

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Swiss police officers travelled to London to take on their Barnet counterparts in the return leg of a football tie aimed at building international police relations.

Officers from Colindale Police Station travelled to Nyon in October to play an 11-a-side match at the UEFA headquarters and meet their European colleagues from the Police Cantonal de Vaud.

This weekend it was Barnet’s turn to play host, giving the visitors a tour of the capital and Scotland Yard before seeking to avenge a 2-0 defeat at the corresponding fixture in Switzerland last year.

During the three-day trip, the Swiss officers were greeted at Scotland Yard by Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, who spoke about the challenges facing officers in London.

They also took a tour of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, travelled to Lambeth’s command and control centre and visited Number 10 Downing Street for photo opportunities outside the iconic front door.

The highly-anticipated football match was held at Barnet Football Club’s stadium The Hive, where the Colindale-based officers exacted the revenge they were after with a comfortable 5-1 victory.

PC Shirvin Zeinalzadeh, who organised the two visits, said he hopes to arrange similar events with officers from other countries in Europe.

He said: “It has been a pleasure to welcome the Swiss officers to London, and to show off the amazing city we live in.

“The challenges police face are similar across the globe, and by bringing the services together, we can build long lasting relations aimed at sharing ideas through the medium of events like this.

“I trust this relationship can continue long into the future with the Swiss, and be further extended to other countries in order to best understand and reflect the multi-cultural society that London boasts.”

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