Police warn football fans to behave while enjoying Euro 2012 in pubs and clubs
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Football fans are being reminded to enjoy the upcoming European Championships safely and responsibly by police.
Pubs and bars are expected to be busy until the final of Euro 2012, which is being held in Poland and Ukraine, on Saturday, July 1.
England matches - starting with a clash against France at 5pm next Monday - will of course be the busiest matches and Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire police have all issued reminders ahead of the championships starting at 5pm on Friday, when co-hosts Poland take on Greece.
While reassuring people that football related violence and disorder has fallen significantly in recent years, chief inspector Gavin Tempest is asking fans to respect supporters of all teams, as well as those that don’t want to celebrate the championships.
Chf Insp Tempest said: “We want everybody to enjoy Euro 2012. We had a relatively trouble-free World Cup a couple of years ago and we are keen to see this repeated during the June tournament this year.
“This promises to be an exciting time for all football fans and the occasion should be celebrated, but, I want to make it quite clear that we will use all necessary resources to prevent disruption and will take a hard line against those intent on causing trouble.”
Summer football trouble has flared in our region previously, with 15 people arrested in Thetford following England’s exit from Euro 2004 in Portugal.
England had lost to Portugal in a dramatic penalty shootout in the quarter-finals and anger turned on the Portugese-owned Red Lion pub, with bottles, stones and bricks being hurled at the pub and trapping Portugal fans in the pub for around two hours.
Suffolk and Cambridgeshire police are issuing similar warnings to Norfolk, with people are also being reminded to not leave drinks, phones, wallets or purses unattended.
Cambridgeshire chief inspector Nick Knight said: “Our priority is public safety and we want everyone who goes out to watch a match during Euro 2012 to do so without fear of violence or disorder.
“Officers will provide a friendly presence and we hope people enjoy watching the games while drinking sensibly but we will not tolerate anti-social or illegal behaviour.
“We are working with pubs to make sure people do not drink too much alcohol and officers will take action to nip potential problems in the bud.”