The man in charge of Essex Police has warned residents and visitors to the county there will be zero tolerance for disorderly behaviour over the weekend.

Chief Con Ben-Julian Harrington has issued the message ahead of the start of the European Championships.

The first match kicks off tonight and England is due to play its first game of the tournament at 2pm on Sunday.

Essex Police has issued several pleas for people to behave themselves over the weekend, and Mr Harrington has echoed those calls in a message this evening.

He said: “It’s been a really long, and horrible year for people across the county. Like you, my officers are really looking forward to socialising, enjoying the football, and maybe visiting a beer garden or two on their days off.

“The majority of people in Essex have been amazing throughout the pandemic – please don’t get silly in the sunshine.

“As Assistant Chief Constable Nolan said yesterday, we all have a responsibility to do our bit.

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"Whether you’re the owner of a licenced premises, someone who frequents it, or someone visiting our coastline from out of county – look after each other and make sure your behaviour doesn’t lead to my officers being called.

"I do want to be clear though - if you are violent, if you are disorderly and if you risk your safety and that of the vast majority of the law abiding people of Essex, we will not tolerate your behaviour and will arrest you and bring you to justice.

“Of course, we’re here if and when you do need us, and I’d encourage you to speak to any officers you might see patrolling in your local area this weekend.

“Stay safe Essex – and have a good weekend.”