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Domestic violence warning before Euro 2012
12:10pm Monday 11th June 2012 in Devon
Police and partner agencies across Devon and Cornwall are joining forces to stand against domestic abuse during this summer’s Euro 2012 football tournament.
Research has shown that domestic violence and domestic abuse incidents rise during major football competitions, particularly following England games.
Before the tournament kicks off, police want to send out a clear message to would-be offenders and urge those who are victims of these crimes seek help and support.
A spokesman said: "Police will be prepared to respond swiftly and robustly, ensuring sufficient staff are available in the hours during and following an England match to deal with domestic abuse incidents. They will have the right resources available at the right time to meet any increase in demands.
Detective Superintendent Paul Northcott, the force’s lead for domestic abuse, said: “Our strategy of policing large sporting events, such as Euro 2012, includes robustly managing domestic violence as well as wider public disorder.”
“This is not the fault of football, but people with a propensity to commit violent crime who use it as an excuse to be abusive.
“We want to make sure that those suffering abuse behind closed doors have the confidence to come forward and that are then given the support and protection that they need.”
During the last major football competition, the World Cup in 2010, Devon and Cornwall Police saw a 30 per cent increase in reports of domestic abuse crimes during England match days.
Across Devon and Cornwall there will be patrols and specialist investigators available on key days during the tournament. When dealing with individuals for ‘public disorder during the tournament, previous domestic abuse history will be taken into account before a person is released to return home.
Devon and Cornwall Police have produced a series of posters to mount an awareness campaign, which other police forces across the country are also using. Their stark images and the message, ‘One more drink could change everything..there’s never an excuse, win or lose.’ warns would-be offenders to think before they act and that their behaviour will not be tolerated.
Detective Superintendent Northcott added: “There is no excuse for domestic abuse and perpetrators must be clear that this football tournament does not give them any justification for violent or abusive behaviour directed at family members or partners.
“We want everyone to enjoy the football and that includes ensuring that people are free of the fear of violence.
“Domestic abuse is an enormous issue as one in five of all violent crimes reported are related to domestic abuse.
“Our advice to victims would be that if you are worried that you will be more at risk during the competition don’t wait – contact the police or any of the victim support services where you will receive the help that you need. Our partner agencies are also prepared to deal with any consequences that the event may bring and will be ensuring that there is the support out there to help victims of this terrible crime.”