As the 2018 World Cup begins today, Suffolk police are urging football fans to enjoy the matches, behave appropriately and respect others.
Officers want everyone to be safe and enjoy the tournament, but are aware an increased amount of alcohol and intensified emotions can sometimes lead to an increase in public order offences and domestic abuse.
Police will be visiting licensed premises in Suffolk to reinforce expectations around behaviour and the responsibilities of the licensee.
A series of posters is being made available for any premises wishing to display them. The posters cover domestic abuse, public order offences and hate crime, and can be downloaded from the Suffolk Police website.
Chief Inspector Kris Barnard said: “We encourage everyone to enjoy the World Cup, but want to remind people to be considerate and tolerant of others.
“If you go out to watch the matches we want you to have a good night out and make sure you stick with your friends.
“Excessive drinking leading to anti-social behaviour can have very damaging consequences for those concerned, and sometimes for their families.
“Suffolk has specific policing plans in place. Officers will deal robustly with any issues, but we hope there will not be a need to do so.
“However, residents are encouraged to report incidents of anti-social behaviour and be assured these will be investigated.
“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 pre-book safe transport home and do not accept lifts from strangers.”
There will be an increased police presence during key matches in town centres throughout the county to minimise the risk of any alcohol-related disorder.
In addition police are warning motorists about falling foul of the dangers of drinking and driving, particularly the morning after a night out.
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Any major international sporting event like the World Cup is there for everyone to enjoy and I hope we all do just that.
“Please remember the laws on drink driving and anti-social behaviour are there for our benefit to keep us all safe and secure.
“There’s absolutely no excuse for bad or loutish behaviour and I’m totally supportive of the Constabulary’s intention to deal with any such incidents very firmly indeed.”