Enjoy this summer’s rescheduled UEFA 2020 European Championships safely in Northamptonshire
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With the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship due to kick-off next Friday (June 11), excitement is building across the county as football fans countdown to the rescheduled tournament.
However, before it reaches fever pitch, Northamptonshire Police is encouraging fans to have a pre-match plan in place to ensure they, and their fellow supporters, enjoy a safe tournament.
The tournament, which was postponed last summer as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic, was already going to be different from previous championships with matches being played at 11 stadiums across Europe.
However, it’s also expected to be a tournament of two halves with matches kicking off nearly two weeks before the UK’s Government proposed lifting of all remaining Covid-19 restrictions on Monday, June 21.
Head of Central Operations - Superintendent Tom Thompson, is leading the Force’s campaign to ensure the only penalties handed out during the tournament are those on the pitch!
Supt Thompson said: “Historically, domestic abuse, hate crime and public disorder have all increased during large football tournaments such as the UEFA European Championship, but we don’t want history repeating itself.
“I don’t want this message to put a dampener on what is expected to be an exciting tournament, as we’re all looking forward to cheering on our respective teams and watching them hopefully progress all the way to the final on July 11.
“However, before the Euros finally get underway, we would like to remind people that we will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to those who think they can use the tournament as an excuse to commit crime and create disorder.
“Competitiveness between those supporting different teams is natural but anyone crossing the line and using football to commit a hate crime, including online, will be dealt with robustly.
“Likewise, whether your team under performs and doesn’t get the result you were hoping for – there’s never an excuse to take out your frustrations on a loved one. Domestic abuse and protecting vulnerable people are a priority and this will not change during the tournament.
“It’s also important to remind people that the tournament’s earlier matches will take place under the guidance of the UK’s Covid-19 restrictions, which means the rule of six will still apply at licensed premises and in the home.
“Even when all the restrictions are hopefully lifted on June 21, it doesn’t mean Covid-19 has gone away, and we should all continue to follow the Government’s advice in place.
“Patrols will be out in key areas during matches to respond to any incidents and people are encouraged to report anything or anyone they are concerned about via 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”
Anyone who has intelligence relating to people who may want to spoil the fun should report it by calling 101 or online via the www.northants.police.uk website.
Hate crime will not be tolerated and anyone subjected to a hate crime is strongly encouraged to report it at www.northants.police.uk/hatecrime so our officers can investigate the incident.
We continue to work closely with statutory and voluntary agencies to ensure victims get the help they need and encourage anyone impacted by domestic abuse to report it to us online at www.northants.police.uk/domesticabuse - always call 999 in an emergency.
To report terrorist and violent extremist material online go to www.gov.uk/ACT. Remain alert at home, work and when out and about, so we all play our part in defeating terrorism and keeping everyone safe.