The long-awaited European Championships started this week and we are working hard with our local communities and partners to make sure it’s an enjoyable experience for all.

There is no doubt that the tournament will be a welcome distraction and celebration for many across the county, particularly with the challenges we’ve all faced over the past 16 months.

That being said, we all have a responsibility to make sure we don’t become complacent and continue to play our part in keeping everyone safe during this global pandemic.

Our officers will continue to undertake Covid-19 patrols, including visits to licensed premises, to ensure businesses and members of public are taking all the required steps to protect themselves and others from the virus.

I also appreciate that the restrictions could change during the tournament.

We will continue to work hard with the local authorities and partner agencies to keep everyone informed of what these changes mean to us all.

Here at Wiltshire Police, our commitment to looking after our communities during the tournament does not stop with Covid-19.

We also need to ensure everyone drinks responsibly, not letting emotions turn into violence, either in public places or at home.

It is also vital that we recognise the heightened risks that offences of Domestic Abuse and Hate Crime may prevail during the tournament.

As such, I want to reassure you that we will work with our partners to try to prevent all such offending.

But if crimes are committed that our experts are ready to support victims with professionalism.

Violence of any kind, both in public places and at home, will simply not be tolerated and my officers will continue to tackle this.

Patrols will be out in key areas during matches to respond to any incidents and ensure everyone is staying safe whilst enjoying the tournament.

We urge those who will be drinking both in social settings and at home to do so responsibly and before heading out to cheer on your team, make sure you have thought about how you are getting home.Book a taxi, nominate a designated driver, even walk, but don’t take control of a vehicle. Drink-driving ruins lives - please don’t take the risk.

In recent years we have also seen a worrying rise in the link between sport and hate crime and we back the home nations in trying to eradicate this. We will respond to reports of hate crime in our community robustly.

With the sun shining as I write this, I am looking forward to the start of the tournament and supporting the home nations. But please remember, there will be a lot of people in our community who won’t be interested. Be a team player and don’t ruin the summer for others.