GLOUCESTERSHIRE Police are urging the public to stay in control during this summer's festival of football.

With events getting under way on Thursday, June 12 with England’s first match kicking off two days later, officers are reminding everyone that they can enjoy the party atmosphere and stay safe as well.

The campaign has been organised to highlight a number of problem areas around major international football tournaments.

These are domestic abuse, drink-driving, assault and criminal damage with consumption of alcohol a contributing factor in many incidents.

Chief Inspector Charlie Laporte said: “Nearly half of all violent crimes are linked to alcohol by the victim. As blood alcohol levels increase so does physical and mental impairment.

"Alcohol use is closely linked with violent assaults. We are certainly not asking anyone to abstain, but what we do want is people to stay in control and use common sense when consuming alcohol.”

Pc Samantha Swinford who played the part of one of the offenders on the poster said that she was eager to get involved in the campaign.

“It’s so important that we raise awareness of the issues that can come from drinking too much alcohol when people watch an England match," she said. "Most of these types of crimes can be avoided and if we can help educate people then it will be well worth it.

"During football tournaments where England play there is a significant increase in incidents of domestic abuse cases reported and the numbers depend on whether England win or lose.

"This really illustrates the effect excessive drinking can have on people's lives."

During June and July Gloucestershire Police will be communicating their messages through a number of ways across the whole county, including live events in Cirencester and Stow.