Moray football fans warned to enjoy – and to behave

European Championships - police in Moray will be on alert.
European Championships – police in Moray will be on alert.

THE FOOTBALL ACTION over the next few weeks may be taking place many miles away in France but local police warning people in Moray to enjoy the games – but to behave.

As the European Championships kicked off last night Chief Inspector Murray Main of the North East Division said that he wants people to enjoy the games – but to do so “safely and responsibly”.

“While Scotland is unfortunately not participating this time round, there will be many people across the north east supporting their home nations and others who are looking forward to enjoying their favourite teams play,” he said.

The Chief Inspector added: “For some this may involve sharing time with family and friends and potentially drinking alcohol at times of the day or days of the week they don’t normally. Some may also drink a little more than they usually do.

“I hope everyone really enjoys the tournament, however for the minority who risk spoiling the fun they should know in advance that officers will be in villages, towns and cities right across the region and we won’t take drunken, violent or anti-social behaviour lightly.

“Please follow this simple safety advice to ensure you and those around you stay safe –

  • Plan your day or evening in advance. Know how you are going to get home and keep some money aside in case you need a taxi or public transport
  • Be aware of your surroundings and stay to the main areas and more lighted or frequented places
  • Make sure you don’t leave your belongings unattended
  • Where possible remain in groups, and if not just remain vigilant of others around you.

“I would also urge drivers not to get in their vehicles – including the morning after – following a night drinking. Officers across Scotland will be concentrating their efforts on preventing and detecting drink and drug-driving in support of the annual summer drink/drug drive campaign.

“The campaign will see extra visibility and activity throughout the country, including across the North East division, to tackle the small minority of reckless road users who continue to break the law. Drink driving is never worth the risk.”

A major new Police operation – Operation PINE – was launched last month across the entire division in an effort to reduce instances of violent crime and related behaviour.

Chief Inspector Main added: “We have recently launched a robust preventative strategy to tackle violence in our communities.

“Operation PINE will continue to see officers targeting the right individuals at the right time in the right place. It also involves ensuring those responsible for violent crime are quickly held to account for their actions and offers perpetrators support with the factors that influence them to become violent.”