A mass clean-up begins this morning after the Tartan Army left Leicester Square covered in litter for a second consecutive night after thousands of Scotland fans defied a dispersal order to celebrate their team’s 0-0 draw with England.
Police have so far arrested 26 people amid the chaos in central London last night which followed a tense encounter at Wembley.
Before the end of the match police cleared fans out of Leicester Square and sealed off the five entrances to the area, wary of any potential flare-ups between supporters.
Squads of police in fluorescent yellow jackets formed a human barrier to stop any fan from entering, while the William Shakespeare statue, which was scaled throughout the day, was also sealed off.
One England fan was arrested for taking a swing at an officer after he became angry at being unable to pass a police line and meet up with a friend who had been knocked to the floor in a scuffle among drunk England fans.
The other arrests included for racial aggravation, drunk and disorderly behaviour, possession of drugs and knuckle dusters.
As more than 1,000 fans returned to Leicester Square from pubs in central London, police eventually took the decision to allow them back inside the cordon.
Today though, workers will have to clean up the mess from the night before, with the area described by some on social media this morning as looking ‘like a war zone’.
Thousands of empty beer cans and bottles were left strewn over pavements, along with bags of rubbish and traffic cones lodged in mud thickened by yesterday’s torrential rain.
A mass clean-up begins this morning after the Tartan Army left Leicester Square covered in litter for a second consecutive night
Workers will today have to clean up the mess from the night before, with the area described by some on social media this morning as looking ‘like a war zone’
Thousands of empty beer cans and bottles were left strewn over pavements, along with a number of bags of rubbish
A bin was tipped over amid the raucous celebrations last night, with rubbish also left strewn across pavements
Beer cans, bottles and plastic bags were left floating in the water at this fountain in central London’s Leicester Square
Two Scotland supporters walk through an area covered in empty and smashed bottles, with rubbish strewn all over the place
A traffic cone along with dozens of cans and bottles of booze was left in the mud, thickened by yesterday’s torrential rain
The statue of Mr Bean in Leicester Square is surrounded by rubbish left by Scotland fans who celebrated late into the night
A Met Police spokesman said last night: ‘As a result of the policing operation today in relation to the football, 18 people have been arrested so far by officers. All of those arrested were male.
‘Arrests were mainly in central London and in the vicinity of Wembley Stadium.
‘Offences included violence and disorder, possession of drugs, possession of an offensive weapon (knuckle duster), racial aggravation, drunk and disorderly and assault of a police officer, who suffered minor injuries.’
More than 50 police officers poured into the area shortly after 9pm to take up position across the five routes into the square.
Leicester Square falls within a dispersal area giving police powers to move people out of the area, and the fans who had remained in Leicester Square didn’t put up any resistance to being ordered to leave.
One police officer said: ‘No fans are being allowed to congregate here for the rest of the night.’
Police eventually entered Leicester Square at 12.45am to actively encourage fans to leave and they said the area was cleared within half an hour.
A red flare was set off as hundreds of fans continued to gather, some kicking footballs and others filming on their phones while people sang ‘No Scotland, no party’ as others clapped and cheered.
Police earlier admitted they had to ‘flexibly’ manage the huge swathe of fans who took over the English capital.
The stalemate favoured Scotland who were the underdogs going into the highly-anticipated encounter, which leaves them with a slim hope of gaining qualification to the knockout rounds.
Before the game, there was a party atmosphere in Leicester Square as Scotland fans scaled statues, sprayed each other with beer and chanted together.
Fans parted to allow the Three Lions fans walk through – then tossed beer over them as they hurried by and let off blue and white smoke flares chanting ‘I’d hate to be English’ before the game which kicked off at 8pm.
The Tartan Army had been in the pub since 10am, trashing central London and leaving the capital’s landmarks strewn with detritus having completely ignored pleas from Mayor Sadiq Khan and the Met Police to stay away.
They flouted a Scotland Yard two-day order warning them not congregate in the West End from 3pm yesterday – and instead they partied in Leicester Square where they danced in fountains they filled with foam into the night.
Scotland fans let off flares in Leicester Square after the England v Scotland game ended in a 0-0 draw on Friday at Wembley Stadium
Scotland fans clamber over a statue of William Shakespeare during their celebrations of the draw while one supporter wears a cone on his head
The Metropolitan Police said 26 people had been arrested as part of the overall policing operation on a night of revelry in the English capital
Scotland fans chant outside Leicester Square tube station as supporters thronged into the city centre for a night of partying
Thousands had descended on the capital for the crucial game in the group stages of Euro 2020, whose result leaves Scotland with a glimmer of hope
Crowds thronged into Leicester Square in central London after the scoreless draw at Wembley on Friday night
On Friday afternoon, officers admitted defeat in trying to move on the fans and said they would implement a ‘flexible policing plan… to reduce the likelihood of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour’.
Chief inspector Joe Stokoe said: ‘We have contingency plans to deal with any number of potential incidents as they arise but my message is clear: if you don’t have ticket to the matches, fan zone or officially booked into a pub, bar or club, please do not come to London – you could end up missing the game.’
After a night of disorder, the fans were back on the beers in the West End today with 20,000 Scots said to be in London already and thousands more heading down by train from Glasgow and Edinburgh throughout the day.
When the hundreds of fans finally dispersed from Leicester Square, the whole area was littered with crushed beer cans, broken bottles and plastic bags.
Most of those fans still chanting were visibly drunk, some barely able to stand and staggering away with the sound of crunching glass underfoot.
Opposite the Hippodrome Casino an Ambulance crews had one fan strapped to a stretcher but before they could take him away he vomited.
His friend was equally drunk and was propped up against a wall by a police officer, but despite the state of many present, no arrests were made.
Many have questioned why Nicola Sturgeon allowed the fans to travel south as she appealed for them to ‘stay safe’ on Friday and ‘be respectful to our hosts’.
She strongly condemned the thousands of Rangers fans who gathered earlier this year to celebrate their league title, but has not spoken out strongly against the Scottish fans descending on London.
Many noted the irony that Sturgeon imposed a travel ban to Manchester and Salford because of rising cases there at the same time as tens of thousands of Scots travelled to London without a ticket to the game.