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There was widespread praise for the performance of the young England team on the pitch at Wembley on Sunday evening.

They had come within reach of winning the European Championship, only losing 3-2 to Italy in a penalty shoot-out.

But their performance was marred by the behaviour of a minority of fans, with dozens arrested and a stream of abuse directed at players on social media after the game was over.

An England fan draped in a flag walks amongst the litter strewn on the ground in front of St Martin-In-The-Fields church, in Trafalgar Square, London, after Italy beat England on penalties to win the UEFA Euro 2020 Final. Picture date: Sunday July 11, 2021.
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The ground in front of London’s St Martin-In-The-Fields church was covered with litter

The Metropolitan Police said 49 people had been arrested for a “variety of offences” and that officers would be on hand throughout the night.

They also said that 19 officers were injured as they “confronted volatile crowds”. It gave no detail of the extent of the injuries but said the fans’ behaviour had been “wholly unacceptable”.

Earlier in the day, fans were pictured in London’s Leicester Square throwing bottles and road cones, leaving the area littered with rubbish.

Police said some people in the capital had been “jumping off street lamps or hoardings”, something officers warned “could easily end in injury”.

More on Euro 2020

And before the game started, around 100 fans were pictured breaking through security barriers at Wembley, running into the ground as staff tried to stop them but were overwhelmed.

After the game, most fans directed messages of praise and encouragement for the players.

Some, however, turned to racist abuse, targeting three black players – Bukayo Saka, 19, Marcus Rashford, 23, and Jadon Sancho, 21 – who missed penalties in the game’s dying minutes.

Police said they were investigating “racist and offensive” messages on social media and the Football Association added that it “strongly condemns” the abuse.

The FA added: “We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team.

“We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.”

The England team said from their Twitter account they were “disgusted” at discriminatory abuse of their players following the Euros final.

“We’re disgusted that some of our squad – who have given everything for the shirt this summer – have been subjected to discriminatory abuse online after tonight’s game,” the team said.

“We stand with our players,” they added, alongside a heart emoji.

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Prince William calls for improved online safety after coroner’s ruling in Molly Russell death

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Prince William calls for improved online safety after coroner's ruling in Molly Russell death

Prince William has called for improved online safety for children after a coroner ruled social media contributed to the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell.

The Prince of Wales said: “No parent should ever have to endure what Ian Russell and his family have been through. They have been so incredibly brave. Online safety for our children and young people needs to be a prerequisite, not an afterthought.”

The schoolgirl from Harrow, northwest London, was found dead in her bedroom after viewing content related to suicide, depression and anxiety online.

Andrew Walker, the coroner, said he did not “think it would be safe” to give suicide as her cause of death, instead opting for self-harm.

Giving his findings on Friday, he said: “Molly was at a transition period in her young life which made certain elements of communication difficult.”

She was “exposed to material that may have influenced her in a negative way and, in addition, what had started as a depression had become a more serious depressive illness”, he told North London Coroners Court.

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Man, 40, arrested in connection with murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel

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Man, 40, arrested in connection with murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel

Detectives have made another arrest in connection with the murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool.

The 40-year-old man from Dovecot was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender on Friday.

It comes a day after a 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of her murder.

The arrest of the 40-year-old is the eleventh arrest in the investigation so far. He remains in custody at a police station for questioning.

The nine other people arrested during the investigation have all been released on bail and no one has been charged.

Olivia was shot dead in Dovecot on 22 August after a gunman entered her home at around 10pm while chasing his intended target.

The girl was struck in the chest after the gunman opened fire, while her mother was injured after being hit in the wrist by the same bullet.

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Suspected remains linked to Moors murders being investigated by police

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Suspected remains linked to Moors murders being investigated by police

Suspected human remains have been found in the search for the final victim of the Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

The remains were found by an author who had been researching the murder of Keith Bennett, a 12-year-old boy who went missing in 1964 and whose body has never been found.

His findings were reported to Greater Manchester Police (GMP), which confirmed it was investigating.

Ian Brady died before revealing where he had buried Keith
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The body of Keith Bennett has never been found

Martin Bottomley, its review officer, said the author had “discovered what he believes are potential human remains in a remote location on the Moors”.

He met with officers on Thursday afternoon to take them to the site of interest, which was assessed that night.

“This morning, specialist officers have begun initial exploration activity,” Mr Bottomley said.

“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been discovered and this is expected to take some time.”

Keith’s surviving brother has been told about the investigation, the force said.

It could be a major breakthrough in a case that has been open since the early 1960s.

The final, undiscovered, victim

Brady and his accomplice Hindley sexually assaulted, tortured and murdered five children over two years in the 1960s.

She died in prison in 2002 and he in 2017.

Ian Brady, in a police car prior to his sentencing
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Ian Brady, in a police car before his sentencing

Read more:
The victims of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley
Brady and Hindley’s bitter war of words revealed
‘My lucky escape’ from clutches of Moors murderers

The bodies of four of their victims were found buried on Saddleworth Moor in the south Pennines, but Keith’s remains have never been found.

He was taken on 16 June 1964 after going to visit his grandmother.

Brady and Hindley’s other victims were Pauline Reade, 16, who disappeared on her way to a disco on 12 July 1963; John Kilbride, 12, who was snatched in November the same year; Lesley Ann Downey, 10, who was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964; and Edward Evans, 17, who was axed to death in October 1965.

Brady confessed to Keith’s murder, but claimed he could not remember where he was buried.

He died at Ashworth High-Security Hospital in Merseyside, where he had been imprisoned since 1985.

Winnie Johnson never gave up hope her son would be found - but died before his remains were discovered
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Winnie Johnson never gave up hope her son would be found – but died before his remains were discovered

48 years fighting for justice

Keith’s mother, Winnie Johnson, spent her life tirelessly fighting for justice and the right to give her son a Christian burial.

The former hospital worker and mother of nine died of bowel cancer in 2012 without knowing what had happened to him.

Mrs Johnson, who was a single mother, made a final plea to Brady in the weeks before her death to tell her where her son’s body was.

Winnie searching for her son in 1988
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Winnie searching for her son in 1988

Speaking after her death, her friend Pam Ayres said: “She never gave up, I expect to her dying breath she wouldn’t have given up. Certainly, with every bit of her spirit and her will, she wouldn’t rescind that power to those people who took him.”

John Ainley, the lawyer for Keith’s brother, Alan, said he had spoken to him about the development.

“My client is keeping an open mind on the latest report having regard to earlier such reports that have raised expectations but not resulted in finding Keith’s body.

“Naturally, the family are hoping that Keith has been found after all these years and their tireless efforts to find closure.

“I understand Greater Manchester Police are investigating a site of interest but that it will take some weeks to establish whether there is a connection with Keith.”

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