Euros 2024: Northamptonshire Police warn football fans against using competition as 'excuse to commit crime'

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As the much-anticipated Euros 2024 tournament draws closer, Northamptonshire Police are warning football fans not to use the competition as an “excuse to commit crime”.

The international footballing event will be watched by millions across the globe as it kicks off next Friday (June 14), before England play their first game against Serbia on Sunday June 16 at 8pm. The final will take place on Sunday July 14 at 8pm.

Throughout the month-long competition, Northamptonshire Police says it will be running its Operation Ticket, which will see a “zero-tolerance approach to those who think they can use football as an excuse to commit crime and create disorder”.

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Chief Inspector Tom Thompson is leading the force’s policing response to the championship, which will include additional patrols in key areas during matches.

Northamptonshire Police has issued a warning ahead of the Euros 2024.Northamptonshire Police has issued a warning ahead of the Euros 2024.
Northamptonshire Police has issued a warning ahead of the Euros 2024.

He said: “As the tournament gets closer and the excitement builds among our communities, I want to take this opportunity to remind ALL football supporters that the only penalties we want to see given out during the tournament are those on the pitch!

“Historically, incidents of domestic abuse, hate crime and public disorder have all increased nationally during major football tournaments such as this, however we do not want this to be the case in Northamptonshire.

“I don’t want this message to put a dampener on what is expected to be an exciting month of football, as we’re all looking forward to cheering on our respective teams and watching them hopefully progress all the way to the final on July 14.

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“However, we would like to remind everyone that we will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to those who think they can use football as an excuse to commit crime and create disorder, causing a nuisance to law-abiding people.

“Competitiveness between those supporting different teams is natural but anyone crossing the line and using football to commit a hate crime, including online, will be dealt with robustly – which can include a football banning order.

“Likewise, whether your team underperforms or doesn’t get the result you were hoping for – there’s never an excuse to take out your frustrations on a loved one. Domestic abuse and protecting vulnerable people are a matter of priority for the force and this will not change during the tournament.

“It’s also important to remind people that posting racist or homophobic comments on social media is also a criminal offence and working with policing colleagues across the UK, we will bring those committing hate crimes to justice.

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“Patrols will be out in key areas during matches to respond to any incidents and people are encouraged to report anything or anyone they are concerned about via 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”

Anyone who has intelligence relating to any issues, is asked to report it by calling 101 or online via the www.northants.police.uk website. Hate crime can be reported on the police website here and domestic abuse here. In an emergency always call 999.

To report terrorist and violent extremist material online go to www.gov.uk/ACT.