COLUMN: Let’s stay safe while celebrating Euro 2016

Community Support Officers patrol the city centre
Community Support Officers patrol the city centre
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My name is Superintendent Caroline Rollitt and I’m overseeing our force-wide campaign during the Euro 2016 football championships.

There are just days to go before the start of the tournament that kicks off in France this Friday.

For many, the event provides entertainment and an opportunity to get behind our current England players. Sports fans will be looking forward to being part of the camaraderie and enjoying the international skills on show, no matter how well England do.

But for South Yorkshire Police there is a more serious side to the competition.

We know pubs, clubs and other venues across the county will broadcast the tournament live and that many members of the public will host their own parties.

Historically, when England are involved in a major tournament, the force sees a rise in alcohol-related incidents, disorder and domestic abuse.

We are also expecting an increased demand on public transport services which could see a rise in the number of incidents on or around the network but also a rise in the number of people driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

There is also evidence that other crime rates increase during football tournaments, and that local known criminals will use it as an opportunity to commit offences of racially or religiously aggravated crime, and violent crime.

Our priority is to protect members of the public, prevent crime and keep South Yorkshire as safe as possible.

Throughout June and July, we will be running a number of campaigns to raise awareness about the consequences of criminal behaviour.

The main aims of the campaign are to minimise the risk of harm to people wanting to enjoy the tournament by minimising the risk of domestic and sexual abuse, anti-social behaviour, hate crime and drink-driving.

We are also hoping to encourage members of the public to report offences while at the same time increasing confidence in South Yorkshire Police.

My message to you is don’t let alcohol ruin your judgement. Drink responsibly and think about the lasting impact of your actions.

Please do host your own parties and enjoy events held to mark the championships but stay safe and look out for those around you.

We want everyone in South Yorkshire to enjoy the occasion and hopefully England will give the country something to celebrate this summer.