Essex Police has urged football fans to behave responsibly ahead of the kick off of the European Championship on Friday.

The tournament, postponed from last summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, kicks off this week with England first in action against Croatia on Sunday.

The county's police force has urged fans not use use the tournament as an excuse to breach Covid regulations or break the law.

Superintendent Nick Morris, who is leading the Essex Police Euros operation, said: “The European Championship kicks off on Friday and we, like you, are looking forward to watching England – as well as Scotland and Wales – taking part in the tournament.

“But we would urge you not to score an own goal by using it as an excuse to commit crime, such as drink or drug driving, take part in disorder or commit clear and blatant breaches of the coronavirus regulations."

Additional patrols will be scheduled during high-profile games, the force has said.

Mr Morris added: “As a force, we remember what took place in parts of the county, such as Colchester and Brentwood, during the World Cup in Russia in 2018 and each person who we identified as taking part in disorder on those occasions has been dealt with and they have had to deal with the consequences of their actions.

“If you do use the event to take part in disorder, commit crime or commit blatant breaches of coronavirus regulations, we will take action.

“So please, when you are watching your team’s matches, whether that be in the pub or in private homes with friends and family, please be safe and stay within the numbers that are allowed.”