I don’t know how many of the 450,000 fans expected to flood into South Africa for next summer’s World Cup have familiarised themselves with the preparations being made by South Africa’s police force, but, if they haven’t, I strongly recommend they do.

It will make sober reading for many, especially the estimated 40,000 who will travel from England, some looking forward as much to alcohol-fuelled punch-ups as the matches.

They would do well to remember that not every country has the same Politically Correct attitude to law enforcement as the UK, where police officers might as well report for duty in handcuffs, so ineffective have they been rendered.

Anyone who considers that opinion somewhat jaundiced should dwell on the disciplinary action taken against an officer from Greater Manchester, made to resign after punching a car thief who crashed into a police vehicle in a bid to escape. A colleague was fined four days’ pay for failing to report the incident. How barmy is that?

They do things differently in South Africa. Superintendent Vish Naidoo, a police spokesman, arrived at a recent briefing for the international press sporting a large handgun, similar to the one carried by Clint “Dirty Harry” Eastwood. And he is essentially a Public Relations spokesman.

Outlining preparations for the World Cup, he revealed that 41,000 extra officers would be available, water cannons would be used if necessary, and there would be prison cells on trains and at stadiums.

He was confident enough to predict that there wouldn’t be any hooliganism, emphasising somewhat less than diplomatically: “British fans will be on their best behaviour”. He didn’t add “if they have any sense” but the threat implied needed no extension.

If memory serves me right, there was a significant absence of football violence for the Japan World Cup in 2002.

Their law enforcement equates to that of South Africa, with swift and effective action against anyone who steps outside responsible behaviour. With reports emanating from South Africa about police brutality in dealing with demonstrations in the townships, it would be an act of lunacy to invite retribution by displaying the kind of boorishness which has brought England’s followers a terrible reputation worldwide. This will be met first with a baton charge, then water cannon, followed by rubber bullets, and possibly something more lethal.

I wonder what South African police would have made of the rampaging yobs who trashed play equipment in a Great Lever park and destroyed a minibus belonging to Bolton Lads and Girls Club? And what would have been their reaction to the thugs who vandalised an ambulance and threatened to shoot paramedics, answering a 999 call to treat a toddler who had burned herself on a radiator? One can only hazard a guess. Mine is that the morons would have significant cause to regret their actions. Pain and instant incarceration are powerful antidotes against anti-social behaviour. And the police who administer that sort of rough justice wouldn’t be disciplined for so doing.