Ron Hogg (L) with Graeme draper, licensee at the Half Moon pub, Durham
Click to read the article in the Northern Echo
[Photo courtesy of the Northern Echo]
ENJOY the games, have a drink, soak up the atmosphere, but keep it sensible.
That is the message Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg is passing on to all fans planning to take in the action at Euro 2016, via television screens in pubs and clubs across the region.
As the French Gendarmerie prepares to tackle the major security issues surrounding the hosting of 51 matches featuring fans of 32 European nations flocking to ten stadiums across France, police in the four qualifying British and Irish nations are putting their own plans in place to keep the peace back home.
As a former police-football liaison officer, who attended the Euro 2000 tournament and the 2002 World Cup in that capacity, Mr Hogg is conscious of the task facing emergency and security services in the host nation.
But he is also aware of the potential for lower level disorder in towns and cities across this country as the drink flows amid the passion of the televised matches as the tournament progresses.
“I hope the sun continues to shine and people have a great time following the matches in France, whichever team they support,” said Mr Hogg, a disappointed Scot, as his home nation misses out on the ‘party’.
“My concern is when you have international competitions, and we have people drinking in pubs watching the matches, it can lead to low level violence and vandalism, and then, when sometimes angry and disappointed fans get home after a bad result, there’s the potential for domestic violence.
“If you’re going to the pub to watch a game, have a designated driver, or take public transport or a taxi.
“There is also a risk to pedestrians leaving pubs after drinking.”
He issued his pre-tournament warning in one of Durham’s best-run pubs, The Half Moon, in Old Elvet, holder of the city’s Best Bar None award.
Licensee Graeme Draper and his staff are gearing up for a busy month as the games come thick and fast in Euro 16, coinciding with the influx of visitors to the city for this weekend’s Durham Regatta and next month’s Miners’ Gala.
Mr Hogg added: “This can be a difficult trade to be in, at times like this, placing extra demands on the likes of Graeme and staff.”
Posted on Monday 6th June 2016