Greater Manchester Police and partners including North West Ambulance Service have urged members of the public to remain alert to instances of football-related domestic violence as England's eliminated team prepare to fly home from the World Cup in Brazil.
During 2010’s World Cup GMP recorded 353 incidents of domestic abuse on the day England went out following their defeat against Germany. Approximately 5,897 calls were made to police, which was a 43% increase on the number of 999 calls over the 24 hour period when compared to the average Sunday in June.
Detective Chief Superintendent Vanessa Jardine from GMP’s Public Protection Division, said: “We know from our own data that there was a spike in domestic incidents during the 2010 World Cup. We want to make it clear to those offenders that this year’s event as with any sporting event will not be used as a way of justifying such abusive behaviour.
“The safety of our victims will always come first and GMP, local authorities, Women’s Aid, Victim Support and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) will ensure that appropriate services are available. Our message to offenders is that any violent or abusive behaviour will not be tolerated and we will arrest anyone committing this type of crime.
“As part of our policing plans during the games we will have specialist domestic abuse officers on duty at key times. Our officers will also give out leaflets and posters in the community to encourage those victims, friends, family members of neighbours to come forward and report to police if there is someone they suspect is a victim. Domestic abuse victims should not be forced to suffer in silence.”
As part of the campaign have released a recording of the moment an eight-year-old boy called 999 to tell them his mother was being battered by her partner - click here to watch the video, which some viewers may find distressing
Emotions, expectations & alcohol lead to rise in assaults
NWAS also recorded a 34% increase in the number of assaults after England were thrown out in the 2010 games. It also saw a 21% increase in the number of 999 calls compared to the previous weekend that year.
Derek Cartwright, Director of Operations at North West Ambulance Service said: “In previous tournaments we have seen the combination of expectations, emotions, warm weather and alcohol consumption result in an increase in 999 calls for assaults. We urge people to think first, drink sensibly and remain aware of their actions so they can enjoy the matches in good spirit and avoid harm to themselves and other people.”
The tension surrounding the matches and the increased consumption of alcohol can provoke violence and abuse in the home. Victims, friends and family members are urged to not wait for the matters to get worse but instead seek help and advice immediately.