England plays Ukraine in the quarter final match in Euro 2020 on Saturday and local people are being asked to make it a safe, fun, and memorable event.
Dorset Police, BCP Council and Dorset Council expect pubs and bars in the county to be busy and for people to meet in groups to watch the big match, which kicks off at 8pm.
Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya, of Dorset Police, said: “Everyone is excited with the national team’s progress following their historic win over Germany. Many are already making plans to watch the match on Saturday night, either at home with family and friends or in our bars and pubs across the county.
“So far, the tournament has been a great success; people have behaved themselves and I wish to thank our licensees across Dorset who have worked closely with us and licensing teams to deliver a safe match day experience for all. We expect the pubs and bars to be full this Saturday night, albeit operating with a reduced capacity due to social distancing rules and the rule of six that remains in place.
“Business owners, police and partner agencies across the region are doing their part to keep you safe. We ask the public to support us with this – please plan ahead by taking a lateral flow test, booking a table and your transport home if you are watching the game out, remember to wear your mask unless exempt and adhere to social distancing.”
Additional police units will be visible in many local town centres and officers will look to proactively tackle drink-related anti-social behaviour.
ACC de Reya continued: “Most people just want to enjoy the football and support their team and this is why partner agencies across Dorset are being very clear that alcohol is not an excuse for bad behaviour.
“Businesses and residents share our frustrations when it comes to anti-social behaviour, which is why those who think that using the match as an excuse to cause violent disorder run the risk of being arrested.
“There is also no excuse for drink-driving following the match or getting behind the wheel the following morning when still over the limit and we will take a robust stance in dealing with any perpetrators who decide to drive while drunk.
“Finally, please respect those who are working hard to keep you safe whether that be door staff, taxi or bus drivers, bar staff, or any of the blue light services, as well as your neighbours or residents who live in the town centres you may be visiting – if we all work together then Saturday night could be something memorable and for all the right reasons.”
Residents are also reminded to stick to the COVID-19 rules of meeting with a maximum of two households or up to six people from different households indoors, and up to 30 people outside in areas such as private gardens or public spaces. Open doors and windows at home to ensure there is plenty of ventilation.
Cllr May Haines, portfolio holder for Community Safety at BCP Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see our national team enjoying success in the Euros, and to have something to celebrate after what we know has been an incredibly difficult year for so many. If you’re making plans to watch the game on Saturday night, please remember that rates of COVID-19 are currently rising locally, so it’s vital you stay safe.
“BCP Council’s regulatory teams are working closely with hospitality businesses to make sure they can operate safely, so I urge that you follow the secure measures to keep yourself and others safe. Let’s not undo the huge efforts and sacrifices that so many have made to ensure the wellbeing of residents in the BCP area.”
Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Housing and Community Safety, said: “If you’re heading to a pub or a bar, do book ahead, check in on arrival and be considerate of landlords and bar staff who must observe Government’s COVID safe rules.”
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