As excitement builds for England’s Euro 2020 quarter-final against Ukraine, fans are being encouraged to enjoy themselves but act responsibly.
Durham Constabulary says its officers will be out there all weekend – “we hope you don’t need us, but we’ll be there if you do” they said.
“We are expecting large numbers of people to enjoy the football when the match kicks-off at 8pm on Saturday and with this, an increase in the number of calls to our control room,” added the statement.
“Whilst you should always call 999 in an emergency, we are also urging people to think twice before calling us for non-emergency issues over the weekend.
“Our officers will be out and about in local towns and villages, ready to help and respond to any arising disorder, particularly because of excessive drinking.”
Chief Inspector Kelly Martin, of Durham Constabulary, added: “When major sporting events take place, we tend to see an increase in demand and whilst the majority of people just want to have fun, we often get a small minority that end up ruining it for themselves and those around them.
“So far, the vast majority of fans have been very well behaved, and we don’t want this to change now.
“We want you to enjoy it, just please do it responsibly. Many people in our communities will not be interested in football.
“If you have consumed alcohol please don’t get behind the wheel. Please make alternative arrangements.
“Drink-driving, together with any kind of violence and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
“Remember that dealing with these incidents and an influx of non-emergency calls to our control room might delay us reaching a genuine emergency elsewhere.”
The force’s live chat service is designed to allow queries and reports to be dealt with more efficiently, and to keep the 101 lines open for more complex enquiries.
Durham Police’s 101 live chat service can be found at durham.police.uk/101livechat.
Answers to a lot of our most frequently asked questions are also available on our website at durham.police.uk.