With the 2022 FIFA World Cup just days away, Suffolk police are urging football fans to enjoy the matches, behave appropriately and respect others.
Officers want everybody to enjoy themselves during the competiton, which kicks off on Sunday (November 20) and are reminding supporters to celebrate safely, be drink aware and respect others.
Chief Superintendent David Cutler, of Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Protective Services, said: “The World Cup is a global celebration recognising great football, great players and different cultures, let’s make sure this is the same in Norfolk and Suffolk and that we all show respect for each other.
“We know these occasions can provide moments of intense joy and excitement as well as disappointment so by all means support your team but also please be considerate of others. This tournament is not an excuse to allow emotions to spill over into anti-social behaviour, hurting other people or damaging property. Any abusive behaviour on any level will not be tolerated – whatever the time of year and whatever the occasion.”
For the first time, this year’s tournament will take place in the run up to Christmas so football fans will be sharing pubs, bars, town and city centres with Christmas shoppers and people celebrating the festive season.
Officers are asking people who are out-and-about to be aware of their alcohol consumption and plan ahead accordingly. This means knowing how they’re going to get home at the end of the evening and being drink-aware. So, keep track of the units of alcohol consumed at a match to calculate when the effects of any alcohol have worn off and it’s safe to drive. England’s games against the USA and Wales are evening games so people who consume alcohol during the match may find they’re still over the drink-drive limit the morning after a night of drinking.
Officers have also been working with licensed premises ahead of the tournament to try to maintain the safety of customers and staff. However, licensed premises showing games also have the responsibility to do so in a safe and responsible manner without adversely impacting on the enjoyment of their customers and the wider public.
Posters aimed at encouraging people to enjoy the tournament safely and responsibly have been put together which you can download.
The public can be reassured that officers are well-versed in policing major events.
If you see a crime taking place, you can report the incident via the website here: http://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/existing-report-update
You can also telephone Suffolk police on 101.