Police vow to ensure football fans play by the rule book

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to encourage football fans to consider the consequences of drinking too much alcohol whilst enjoying the Euro 2012 tournament.

The East Sussex Safer Communities Partnership’s ‘Watch. Enjoy. Remember.’ campaign aims to blow the full-time whistle on people who drink too much or cause trouble during the competition.

It highlights the danger of missing the game due to excess alcohol and shows the possible consequences of being drunk, including getting arrested.

Alcohol consumption increases and tensions run high during international football competitions, with reports from previous years showing an increase in hospital admissions on and after England match days and an increase in incidents of domestic violence.

There has been an increase in police patrols around Euro 2012 matches and in particular the England games.

The partnership has reproduced campaign posters and credit card-sized leaflets which have been distributed to pubs and off-licenses across the county.

Superintendent Neil Honnor from Sussex Police said: ‘This campaign isn’t about telling people that they can’t enjoy a few drinks and a bit of fun while watching the football.

“It is about encouraging people to consider the consequences if they let their drinking get out of control.

“If you cause trouble before, during or after the match, you will be arrested.”

The campaign is being delivered by organisations including, East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police, NHS and local Community Safety Partnerships.

Councillor David Elkin, lead member for children’s and adults services at the county council, said: “By working together we are able to make our message loud and clear so that more people will be mindful of how much they drink during the football matches.”

Peter Aston, health improvement manager for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said: “Sensible drinking is a key part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

“This campaign encourages people to think about how much alcohol they drink so that they can make changes to improve their health and well-being if needed.”

For help, advice or information about alcohol, contact Action for Change on 0300 111 2470 or visit www.action-for-change.orgr.

To track your drinking, download the ‘NHS Drinks Tracker’ to your iPhone or visit the Alcohol pages on the NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk

Meanwhile there have been no reports of football-related trouble in the Battle and Rye area.

Sergeant Paul Masteron, of Battle Police, said: “With the Euro 2012 tournament upon us we have seem crowds gathering in the local pubs to cheer our country on and we have visited all of them to ensure all is well.

“I would like to thank the publicans and patrons of all our local pubs for the way they have managed the demand and the way they have behaved. Unlike some of the larger towns we have not suffered any drunkenness or anti-social behaviour as a result of the football.

“We look forward to enjoying the rest of the tournament in the same way and will continue our visits whenever our team are playing, hopefully for nothing more than to check on the score.”