POLICE are asking football fans to make Sunday's European final event a 'night to remember for all the right reasons and not one of regret'

England play Italy at 8pm on Sunday and it is expected that pubs and entertainment venues will be busy with people meeting in groups to watch the big match.

Additional resources will be in place across Dorset with agencies reminding people to respect each other and behave responsibly while enjoying the game.

Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya, of Dorset Police, said: “Despite calls on social media, Monday isn’t a bank holiday, so this means the majority of our public will be working on Monday and many parents will have the fun of the school run.

“Please show some restraint on Sunday win or lose. The reality is, if you have a few to drink it can take many hours before you are no longer under the influence and are fit to be on the road. If you are over the limit and behind the wheel, you run the risk of being involved in a collision, which can ruin lives – you risk losing your job, be landed with a criminal record and could even face time in prison.

“Our Dorset Police officers will be visible across the weekend and out patrolling on Monday morning with breathalysers to ensure road users are acting responsibly. We routinely breathalyse anyone involved in a collision as a matter of course even if it is minor. Don’t risk it, be sensible and do the right thing.

“There will be no fan-zone events or outdoor big screens showing the final of Euro 2020 in Dorset, which is a decision we support alongside our partners. Working at reduced capacity at bars and pubs due to COVID-19 restrictions, it will be challenging for all fans to guarantee a seat in a pub for the match without prior booking.

“I couldn’t be more complimentary toward our licensees across the county who have been working closely with our teams to deliver a safe Euro 2020 thus far. If you haven’t booked a space at a venue, you need to plan ahead or simply watch the match at home as you will be turned away at the door by most venues.

“Our public need to take some personal responsibility on Sunday for the safety of all of our communities. COVID-19 infections rates remain high across the region and restrictions are still in place. Before leaving the house to watch the match, or if you are welcoming friends over to watch the final within the home, please take a lateral flow test and get the all-clear beforehand.”

Covid-19 guidelines mean there is a limit on the number of people you can meet indoors, which is a maximum of two households or up to six people from different households. People can also meet others outside, such as in private gardens or public spaces, but this is capped at 30 people.

ACC de Reya said: “We have seen outpourings of emotions and groups gathering in public to celebrate at full-time during previous England games. Whilst these have been good natured, our officers will be monitoring any anti-social behaviour and community tension. If you are asked to move on and away from the area or to stop blocking a road, please do so.

“It has been a difficult past 18 months for all of us. Euro 2020 and the success of the national team has been a welcomed distraction. So please plan-ahead, be respectful to each other, toward those who are working hard to keep you safe, and don’t do anything that puts yourself or others at risk.

“Last but not least, come on England!”

Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety at Dorset Council, said: “This is a very exciting time for the whole country as we watch England play in their first final for 55 years. We’ve been working really hard with partners and licensees to keep venues secure so please, whatever the outcome on Sunday, act responsibly and safely.”