Football fans are being urged to enjoy the upcoming Euro 2016 tournament – but have been warned that trouble makers will not be tolerated.
Extra officers from both Surrey and Sussex Police will be on duty across the counties before, during and after high-profile matches to respond to any incidents of disruption and disorder.
Sussex Police Chief Inspector Justina Beeken said: “There will of course be a large police presence in France throughout the tournament and we’d like to remind people to consider the laws of the country they are in. Please take care and consider the wider picture, such as the terror threat.
“To ensure the safety of those travelling, we will have increased patrols at Gatwick Airport and Newhaven port, so please expect extra checks. Be cooperative and don’t be alarmed if you are subject to searches or questioning – we are there to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip for everyone.
“Those who intend to travel are also advised to take care of themselves and their belongings. Don’t leave any valuables unattended, arrive early to avoid problems at the gate and expect heavy traffic.”
In light of last year’s terror attacks, travelling supporters are urged to be alert but not alarmed, and to report any suspicious behaviour to police or stadium officials.
Sussex Police will also be working closely with local authorities and licensees from pubs and clubs, to deter trouble before it starts.
Chief Insp Beeken said: “Any individuals brought to our attention will be dealt with efficiently to ensure their behaviour does not affect others, the majority of which will be law-abiding fans out to watch their team and have a good time.”
Officers will also be increasing patrols as part of Operation Dragonfly – the summer campaign to crackdown on drink and drug-drivers. In addition, extra resources will be available to respond to reports of domestic abuse.
Chief Insp Beeken added: “It’s important to note that the counties of Surrey and Sussex are very diverse places. They each have a large number of residents, visitors and students from overseas whose national teams may be involved in the tournament, and we want them to be able to enjoy it as well. They will, of course, be subject to the same rules as everyone else.
“Our main message to fans is to have fun and enjoy Euro 2016, but please behave and drink responsibility – or be prepared to face the consequences.”
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