Public urged to be a team player and support their communities during the Euros
We're calling on residents across Wiltshire to support their local communities during the European Championships as we prepare for the start of the football tournament
Wiltshire Police, along with Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council, have teamed up to offer advice on making the most of the tournament which will be played across 11 different venues in Europe, culminating with the final on July 11 at Wembley Stadium.
While the tournament will be a welcome distraction for many, we remain in the final step of the road map out of lockdown and need to take personal responsibility as we work towards all restrictions being lifted.
Our commitment to looking out for our communities does not stop with Covid; it also comes with drinking responsibly, not letting emotions spill over into violence, both in public places and at home, and tackling hate crime.
Wiltshire Police will play their part in ensuring an enjoyable tournament for all by working with licensed premises and the local authorities to ensure businesses and members of the public are taking the required steps to protect themselves and others from the virus, as well as increasing our presence across the county to ensure fans enjoy themselves responsibly.
Cllr Simon Jacobs, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, said:
The Euros will be a time for many to have some much-needed fun and get caught up in the excitement, particularly after this difficult year or so.
It's still so important though that people continue to keep COVID-19 at the forefront of their minds and adhere to any restrictions that are in place, as we really don't want to undo any of the recent progress that everyone has contributed to and made sacrifices to achieve.
If we all play our part, work together and support each other, then we will make an unbeatable team and help show COVID-19 the red card.
Superintendent Phil Staynings said:
We know there will be a lot of people across the county looking forward to the first major international football tournament in three years and we are prepared to help support our communities enjoy it.
It will come as a welcome distraction and celebration as lockdown restrictions ease, but we remind everyone that while restrictions are still in place, we should all be playing our part to keep everyone safe from a global pandemic.
With restrictions currently planned to change during the tournament on June 21, we will work with the local authorities to ensure that licensed premises abide to the current rules until this date and then be ready for the anticipated changes.
While we want everyone to enjoy themselves, we ask that this doesn't get carried away and create problems for their communities, many of whom won't be interested in the football.
We ask that people drink responsibly- if you do drink, plan your journey home in advance by booking a taxi or having a designated driver and violence of any kind will not be tolerated.
We also want to remind people that hate has no place in our communities and support the home nations in trying to eradicate this from sport and will tackle reports of hate crime robustly.
Steve Maddern, Swindon Borough Council's Director of Public Health, said:
Lots of football fans will be looking forward to watching the tournament, whether that's at home, with friends or at the pub - but letting our guard down now would be like scoring an own goal.
We can't afford to become complacent so, to keep everyone in our community safe, please make sure you are following the guidance, including washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering where required, letting fresh air in and keeping your distance from people not from your household or support bubble.
Our Covid marshals and community engagement officers continue to be out and about, while we work closely with partners like Wiltshire Police, to help keep everyone safe in our community.
To continue moving forward, it's up to all of us to follow the guidance and protect one another, particularly those who are yet to be vaccinated.
People are encouraged to report anything or anyone they are concerned about via Wiltshire Police: Report - 101 online. Always call 999 in an emergency. You can also report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.