As the World Cup gets underway tonight, West Yorkshire Police are working with partner agencies to protect victims of domestic violence which often spikes during football tournaments.
Domestic violence offenders have been advised to seek help to change or risk paying the penalty as Police focus on those who abuse their partners and families during Brazil 2014.
Assistant Chief Constable Geoff Dodd of West Yorkshire Police said:
“Offenders should be in no doubt that police and partners are determined to do everything possible to protect victims of domestic violence. During Euro 2012, while offences were lower than in the 2010 football World Cup we still saw spikes in reported incidents on match days. Inflamed passions and excess alcohol on a match day is no excuse for aggressive or violent behaviour. This is simply not acceptable and any violence will be met by the full force of the law.”
In support of the month-long operation, specially trained officers will also be on hand to assist victims and there will be dedicated patrols in and around town centres during the tournament. There will also be extra resources available to respond to domestic violence incidents. In dealing with incidents, West Yorkshire Police has pledged to make effective use of new Domestic Violence Protection Orders that allow a court to ban a perpetrator from a residence with immediate effect and prevent them returning for up to 28 days.
England’s first game is scheduled to take place late in the evening of Saturday June 14 and in the build-up to the game, officers will be visiting known offenders and warning them about the consequences of aggressive or violent behaviour.
ACC Dodd said: “The simple message will be that if you offend, you will be arrested and prosecuted. We have new powers available such as Domestic Violence Protection Orders and additional resources; we are determined to use them to protect victims, prevent offences and prosecute offenders.”
In a plea to potential victims, ACC Dodd said: “Victims of domestic abuse are not to blame for the violence they suffer. It is our duty to support them and to keep them and their family safe. We will do everything in our power to do so; if someone is at risk, we need to know so that we can support and protect them”.
He added: “West Yorkshire Police also recognise that some perpetrators want to change their behaviour; if any individual comes forward and seeks support because they believe they may offend, West Yorkshire Police officers will ensure that they can gain access to services to help prevent them offending. We are aware there are people out there who know they are at risk of offending and we will be encouraging them to contact help lines such as the National help line for men wanting to change on 0808 8024040. If someone is prepared to seek support we would encourage them to do so”.
Those who feel they may be at risk of being victims can contact West Yorkshire Police on 101. If it is an emergency and you feel you are in immediate danger then ring 999. A national domestic violence 24 hour helpline can also be called on 0808 2000 247.
More help and advice on preventing domestic violence can be found on the West Yorkshire Police website at www.westyorkshirepolice.uk/WorldCup14