Northamptonshire Police are reminding football fans to enjoy a safe World Cup over the next weeks - and say they will take a "zero-tolerance" approach to anyone using the tournament to commit hate crime.
As the 2018 FIFA World Cup approaches, police officers in Northamptonshire are gearing up to ensure football fans in the county enjoy a safe tournament.
Chief Inspector James Willis, said: “As the tournament gets closer and the excitement builds, I want to take this opportunity to remind people that penalties are not the only thing we’d like to avoid.
“Historically, crime, disorder and hate crime have all increased during large sporting events and the FIFA World Cup is arguably the biggest event of them all.
“We’re all looking forward to watching our team play and I don’t want this message to put a downer on what is always an exciting tournament, but I do want to remind people that we will be taking a zero-tolerance approach to those who think they can use the tournament as an excuse to commit crime and create disorder, causing a nuisance to the majority of people who are law-abiding.
“Furthermore, competiveness between people supporting different teams is natural but anyone crossing the line and using the tournament to commit a hate crime will be dealt with robustly – there is never an excuse to target someone simply for who they are.
“Patrols will be out in key areas during the 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 people who may want to spoil the fun can report it by calling 101 or through a new online reporting form.
To report online terrorist and violent extremist material online go to www.gov.uk/ACT. Remain alert at home, work and when out and about, so we all play our part in defeating terrorism and keeping everyone safe.