Norfolk police urge football fans to have a safe and enjoyable World Cup
PUBLISHED: 12:26 05 June 2014 | UPDATED: 13:14 05 June 2014
As the first game of the 2014 World Cup approaches Norfolk police are appealing to everyone to enjoy the matches, behave appropriately and leave the kicking off to the football.
Police are keen for everyone to enjoy the World Cup but are aware that an increased amount of alcohol and intensified emotions can lead to an increase in drunkenness, disorder and domestic abuse.
Running from June 10 the Association of Chief Police Officers will be supporting the Football United Against Domestic Violence campaign led by Women’s Aid. The campaign gives the charity the opportunity to talk to football fans and clubs about reports of increases in domestic abuse after football matches.
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.
A series of posters are being made available for any premises that wish to display them. The posters cover domestic violence, public order offences and hate crime, and can be downloaded from the Norfolk Police website.
Inspector Edward Brown said: “We encourage everyone to enjoy the World Cup, but want to remind everyone to be considerate and tolerant to others. We had a relatively trouble-free Euro 2012 tournament a couple of years ago and we are keen to see this repeated during the June tournament this year.
“As with a usual night out we are asking people going out to watch the football that they do not become a drain on police time 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 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 county 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.
Inspector Brown added: “A small minority of anti-social supporters may use the tournament to behave inappropriately and spoil the event for others. These people need to be aware that we will take every step necessary to bring them to account for their actions.
“We will have additional resources available across the county to provide a reassuring presence aiming to prevent offences from happening.”
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 World Cup.
Head of Roads Policing in Norfolk and Suffolk, Chief Inspector Chris Spinks 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.
“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 this world cup 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.
During last year’s joint campaign 4,648 people were stopped and breathalysed with 174 drivers risking their lives and the lives of others by drinking and driving.