Additional police patrols will take place during Euro 2016 in Suffolk town centres and officers are also stepping up their drink-drive campaign checks during the tournament.
As the first game of the 2016 European Championship approaches Suffolk Police are appealing to everyone to enjoy the matches, behave appropriately and to make sure they don’t end up in their #CustodyXI!
During the campaign police will be posting adverts on social media encouraging safe and responsible behaviour from fans using the phrase, “Don’t end up in our #CustodyXI”
Police are keen for everyone to enjoy the football tournament but are aware that an increased amount of alcohol and intensified emotions can lead to an increase in drunkenness, disorder and domestic abuse.
Licensees are being urged to plan ahead for the tournament and be particularly conscious of any additional security and safety measures which may be appropriate, such as using plastic glassware or employing door supervisors to assist with the management of customers into venues. Police are also looking for venues to remind their customers of the possible consequences of drinking too much.
Superintendent Paul Sharp said: “We want everyone to enjoy Euro 2016 and but want to remind people to be considerate and tolerant to others. We’re reminding licensees of the importance of only running responsible promotions that do not encourage drunkenness. This can be harder to manage when emotions are running high during high profile matches.
“As with a usual night out we are asking people going out to watch the football that they do not become a drain on resources because of excessive drinking. People need to take responsibility for themselves and their friends. Make sure you plan ahead, if you’re going to watch a match at a pub then plan how you are going to get there and how you will get home. Also be aware that if you get yourself drunk you are likely to be asked to leave.”
There will also be an increased police presence on England match days in town centres throughout the counties to minimise the risk of any alcohol-related disorder. Should any major public order incidents take place, there will be specially trained officers on duty and available to respond as soon as possible.
Additionally, June will see officers from the joint Roads Policing Unit taking part in Europe-wide summer drink drive campaign and officers are aware that the numbers of people risking drink driving could increase with the arrival European Championship.
Head of Roads Policing in Norfolk and Suffolk, Chief Inspector Kris Barnard said: “Watching the football is a very social event, whether it is going to the pub or round to a friend’s house. Either way there can be more of a temptation for those driving to have a drink, but we would warn people not to do so if they intend to drive.
“We would also warn motorists to think about whether they are safe to drive the morning after drinking. There are some mid-week matches and late kick offs during the tournament and people need to be aware that the next morning they may still be over the limit so should avoid driving and arrange alternative transport.”
During the summer campaign officers will be carrying out roadside checks at all times of the day and night, including first thing in the morning, as drivers are urged to think twice before getting behind the wheel the morning after drinking – when alcohol can still be in body.
Officers will also be breath-testing anyone who is stopped for a motoring offence, and anyone involved in a collision in a bid to crack down on those who flout the law. We will also be making use of our road side testing kits to detect a range of drugs
Drink driving is one of the fatal four motoring offences alongside speeding, using a mobile phone and seatbelt offences and police in Norfolk and Suffolk work closely with partner agencies, including Think! Norfolk Road Safety Partnership and the Suffolk Roadsafe Partnership to educate drivers and improve safety.
Anyone convicted of drink driving faces losing their licence, a fine and possibly a jail term. Convictions may also continue to impact on them throughout their personal and professional lives.”
Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner said, “Watching any sport can be thirsty work and it is perfectly natural to enjoy a pint or two when watching the football. We don’t want to spoil the fun we just want to remind everyone not to drink and drive.
“Our roads policing officers will be out in force on the days of the England matches so be warned – if you are driving under the influence of drink or drugs, there is a good chance that you will be caught.”