Advice to football fans ahead of tonight's World Cup game between England and Croatia

**Published 7.40am Wednesday 11th July**

We are urging people to have an enjoyable time and stay safe watching the World Cup semi-final tonight.

Thousands of people are expecting to congregate at locations across Merseyside as England take on Croatia for a place in the World Cup final.

And officers have issued some simple advice so that everybody can have a great time and enjoy the event safely.

Chief Inspector Keith McLachlan, said: "We know that a lot of people are planning to go out to pubs, bars, and some of the organised screening events across Merseyside to watch the England game.

"We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time and make sure the afternoon and evening is memorable for all the right reasons which is why we are offering some tips and advice to ensure everybody’s evening out goes smoothly.

"If you are travelling to one of the organised events on Merseyside I would advise people to check how they are travelling to and from and where they can park in advance as well as how they will get home.

"While you’re out and about, keep your purse and phone hidden – keep your handbags close to you, ensure they are fastened securely and kept closed at all times to prevent easy access.  Those carrying wallets are reminded to keep them out of sight and reach, perhaps within an inside jacket pocket.

"The weather has been hot over the past few days so I would advise people stay covered up, use sunscreen and make sure they drink plenty of water while they are out and about.

"I know many people will be consuming alcohol. I would ask people to be responsible with the amount they drink to ensure they do not leave themselves vulnerable and so they do not have to cut their own enjoyment or that of friends short."