Police are encouraging football fans in Merseyside to enjoy the World Cup safely

** Published 00.01am Wednesday 13 June 2018 **Pc Rebecca Cain Pcso Eddie Mccarthy Inspector Andy Greer And Jenny Davies From The Atu

(L-R): PC Rebecca Cain, PCSO Eddie McCarthy and Inspector Andy Greer from Merseyside Police with Jenny Davies from Liverpool City Council’s Alcohol and Tobacco Unit and one of the branded taxis promoting Drink Less Enjoy More during the World Cup 

Merseyside Police is encouraging football fans to enjoy the World Cup safely before the tournament kicks off on Thursday (14 June).

It is expected venues around Merseyside will be busier when key matches are being played during the tournament, which runs until the final on 15 July.

Superintendent Mark Wiggins said: "We want people across Merseyside to enjoy this World Cup – it should be a wonderful tournament and there will be many venues and licensed premises showing the games, in particular those involving England.

"Merseyside is a welcoming place and there are people from all over Europe who live in and visit the area. Football is a spectator sport and we expect lots of establishments to be busier when matches are being played.

"While we do not want to spoil anyone's fun, we will not tolerate anti-social or criminal behaviour.

"We know around half of all violent crimes committed are alcohol related and that if you drink at home, then go out, you are more likely to be involved in violence, either as a victim or as an offender.

"Liverpool’s night time economy is rightly famous and the city has a well-deserved reputation as a safe and vibrant place to enjoy a night out, recently retaining its Purple Flag status for the eight successive year.

"We want to ensure people visiting the city and other parts of Merseyside to watch games leave with memories of a fantastic afternoon or evening watching the football and are keen to come back when the tournament is over. We work closely with the local authority and the licensing trade to ensure people do drink to excess and people will be challenged if they try to purchase more alcohol by bar staff, licensees and the police.

"We want people to ask themselves whether they want to have their night ended early – possibly even before a match has kicked off - because they are refused entry to a pub or bar having consumed too much alcohol too early. Drink sensibly and enjoy your night out with friends.

"If you attend a screening event, stay aware and take good care of your belongings. I would also ask that people plan ahead – visit a cash point before you have a drink, make sure you know how you’re getting home at the end of the evening and have a route planned out."