Football fans urged to behave as Euro 2012 kicks off

Police urge fans to stay safe when enjoying the festivities.

As Euro 2012 kicks off police are urging football fans to stay safe when enjoying the festivities.

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary says responsible drinking is key to a safe and successful tournament.

Superintendent Dave Sumner leading the policing operation throughout the tournament said: “Whilst encouraging fans to have a great time and enjoy watching their team play, we also want to remind them to be safe and drink responsibly.

“We know that people are going to want to go out and have a drink or two to celebrate, and we will do all we can to help make this a safe and enjoyable event. We often see a rise in domestic abuse and drink-related assaults during big tournaments and we will act robustly to deal with these crimes.”

Police in Devon will be increasing resources before, during and after England games and have put plans together to reflect the needs of local communities and resource certain games or events throughout the tournament.

Mr Sumner added: “We want people to enjoy Euro 2012 and policing operations have been designed so that people can do this in the safest way possible.”

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Officers across Devon and Cornwall are working to prevent incidents of hate crime and anyone who has been a victim is urged to report it to the police.

“Violence, football-related disorder or hate crimes of any sort will not be tolerated and we will police in a robust and positive fashion,” says Mr Sumner.

“Those who behave inappropriately and create disorder can expect to be dealt with firmly. We will arrest such people and seek Football Banning Orders in addition to any punishment a court may impose.”

Police have already been preventing fans with Football Banning Order from leaving the country until the tournament has finished unless they have received an exemption.

As part of the first phase of the operation those with a banning order have had to hand in their passports.

A police spokesman added: “Officers from the police football intelligence unit will be on duty throughout the tournament.

“They will be monitoring all incidents and any arrests linked to the football will be looked at with a view to applying to the courts for Football Banning Orders where appropriate.”