Sussex Police Up Domestic Violence Patrols During Euro 2016

Wednesday 8th June 2016

eastbourne buzz news - Domestic violence

Sussex Police will be upping their patrols during England and Wales match days of Euro 2016.

They’re calling on anyone who suffers domestic abuse, whether physical or psychological, to not suffer in silence.

There will also be an all-day Tweetathon on Saturday (11 June) as the tournament gets underway, to encourage debate and provide advice.

The dedicated 'Operation Ribbon' patrols will operate on England and Wales match days in the tournament's group stages, and further patrols will operate if either team progresses in the tournament.

Alongside their response role, the officers are being kept up to date about previous or likely victims who may be particularly vulnerable, and about suspected or proven offenders who may pose a higher risk.

In addition, teams of specialist investigators will be ready to carry out further enquiries.

Detective Chief Inspector Ali Eaton said, "These patrolling units will help provide a prompt response to domestic violence incidents, and officers will be equipped with body worn video to help secure vital evidence.

"For the vast majority of people who watch matches and support their national teams the games are enjoyable events that draw people together. But for a small minority football provides the catalyst for alcohol abuse and violent behaviour, which can be particularly dangerous in some relationships."

During the Football World Cup in Brazil during June 2014 an average of 46 domestic abuse incidents were reported on the three England match dates, and an average of 41 a day for the whole tournament. This compares with an average of 36 for the same period the previous year, 2013.

During the last Euro Championships in Poland and Ukraine four years ago, police were called to 140 domestic abuse incidents on the four England match days, against a total of 119 on same dates the previous year.

Ali Eaton added, "We work with a variety of other support agencies to tailor safety plans for victims at high risk of serious harm. The police response aims to prevent abuse where possible and deal robustly with any offenders committing crimes against partners and family members.

"Domestic abuse is not just about physical and sexual violence. It also includes psychological, emotional and financial abuse.

"If domestic abuse is happening to you or someone you know, seek help from the police or one of the local dedicated domestic abuse services in Sussex. Anyone aware of danger of harm to an adult or children within a household can ring the police on 101 at any time. In an emergency dial 999.”

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, is backing the initiative. She said, "Emotions are understandably heightened with all major sporting events and, when alcohol is added to the mix, this may lead to unpleasant situations occurring, particularly if hopes are dashed. That's not blaming football but there should be no excuse for domestic abuse, at any time.

"Sussex Police has shown that they are committed to tackling domestic abuse effectively and this further drive should serve as a warning to potential abusers that our police will act swiftly on reports of domestic abuse. I sincerely hope that anyone experiencing domestic abuse, in all its guises, will have the confidence to come forward and not continue to suffer in silence."

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