WEST Midlands Police has urged football fans to enjoy the Euro 2020 tournament safely and without incident.
The force, like everyone else in the country, has been eagerly anticipating the festival of football which got under way on Friday night.
And – with England’s first game due to take place this afternoon against Croatia – and with Covid restrictions easing, they anticipate many people will be out and about in pubs, bars and clubs.
They are urging people to savour the football and enjoy the tournament and stress it is not a time to cause trouble or nuisance.
West Midlands Police will have officers on regular patrols and are hopeful they will only be needed to witness people’s goal celebrations.
Supt Rich Agar, who is leading the policing approach throughout the competition, said: “This is a very exciting time, a month of football with some of the best players.
“We’ve had to wait a year longer than we’d anticipated due to the pandemic but it’s only whetted our appetite for the tournament more.
“Whatever your nationality we want you to enjoy the competition and cheer on your team, be that at home or at venues showing games.
“However, it’s also a time to remain responsible. Restrictions may have eased but coronavirus is still there and everyone needs to be sensible in their interactions.
“We also know emotions can run high – particularly after a few drinks – and it’s important this doesn’t lead to violence or disorder.
“We’ll have officers on regular patrols in our towns and cities who will take action if necessary.
“We’ll have resources available should we become aware of unacceptable behaviour – both at venues and in your home – and we’ll promptly respond to any reports we receive.
“Surely it’s more fun to enjoy watching the games with family and friends – especially after the last year we’ve experienced – rather than commit an offence.
“You could have to live with the potential consequences for yourself, your family and career aspirations as the result of a moment of madness.”