POLICE in Wigan are launching a campaign to urge football fans to drink responsibly during the upcoming Euro 2012 tournament.
Senior officers are warning that Wiganers need to be aware of the dangers of heavy drinking mixed with group pressure and the emotion-charged atmosphere associated with watching England games.
The combination, they warn, can transform minor incidents into violent confrontations.
But they say that following simply police advice, fans can help create a safe and memorable Euro 2012.
The advice is featured on GMP Euro 2012 wall planners that contain all the fixtures, dates and times allowing fans to keep a running record of how the competition is progressing. They are available for fans to download and print free from the Force’s website on www.gmp.police.uk or by scanning the QR code on your smartphone.
Chief Inspector Chris Hill, who is leading on any policing issues arising out of the tournament in Greater Manchester, said: “Like football fans across Europe I await the start of this competition with eager anticipation. It is one of the major highlights of this year’s sporting calendar and brings joy and anguish in equal measure to fans across the continent.
“It also provides challenges to police as the supercharged atmosphere it creates fuelled with excessive drinking can lead to outbursts of violence sometimes with tragic consequences.
“People can be assured that we will be closely monitoring potential trouble spots and will intervene robustly at an early stage to tackle offenders intent on spoiling what should be a safe and happy celebration of football for everyone to enjoy.
“By showing respect and consideration for other football fans and members of the public we can all make Euro 2012 memorable for all the right reasons.”
England’s first group game takes place at 5pm against France.
Pubs and clubs across Wigan are expected to screen all England’s group games as Roy Hodgson’s injury-hit squad attempts to overcome the loss of big name players like Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill.
The final of the competition, which takes place in Poland and Ukraine, is on July 1.