Campaign Tackles Domestic Abuse During Euro 2012
Not everyone will see the forthcoming Euro 2012 tournament as a time of fun and excitement: drink-fuelled domestic abuse will ruin it for some.
Incidents spike when England are playing; but there's no excuse for it, win or lose, and West Mercia Police is urging victims and witnesses to blow the whistle on domestic abuse.
National research showed reported incidents of domestic abuse increased by nearly 30 per cent on England football match days during the World Cup in 2006.
Nearly half of all suspects in domestic abuse cases were drunk at the time of the crime.
With England involved in their first Euro 2012 match this evening, West Mercia Police wants to encourage those who suffer domestic abuse over the next four weeks of the tournament, not to tolerate it and to report incidents to the police.
Football-themed posters have been distributed across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire that urge local people to "Show domestic abuse the red card" and "Blow the whistle on domestic abuse."
Detective Sergeant Sharon Avery, the force co-coordinator for domestic abuse, said: "Domestic abuse is a serious crime that should not and will not be tolerated. It must be made clear to offenders that the tension of high-profile matches does not give them any justification.
"I know people are disappointed when their team loses a game but there is absolutely no excuse for taking it out on your family. Many people will be watching Euro 2012, supporting England and most enjoy a drink - but they don't take it to excess.
"Domestic violence and abuse affects families, it affects victims who suffer harm and it can have a devastating effect on the lives of children exposed to the abuse. West Mercia Police will do everything it can to make arrests and bring offenders to justice.
"Don't suffer in silence - help is available. We work closely with local authorities and support groups to provide support for victims, encourage them to report abuse and effectively prosecute offenders.
"If you or somebody you know needs confidential help or advice, blow the whistle on domestic abuse and call the domestic abuse helpline on 0800 783 1359. You can also call the police on 0300 333 3000. In an emergency always dial 999."
Issued: Monday 11 June 2012