Police and partners working together as Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse are launching a joint campaign during the World Cup 2014 to deter perpetrators of domestic abuse and encourage those affected by domestic abuse to seek help.
Det Supt Stephen Cullen said “Our statistics indicate that reported domestic abuse can increase during international football tournaments by 27% on days when England plays. Heightened emotions and alcohol among the population as a whole are all contributory factors.”
“We are not saying that football fans are more likely to perpetrate domestic abuse, but that football fans make up a wide cross-section of society, and domestic abuse happens throughout all levels of society.”
“We are sending the clear message to perpetrators of domestic abuse that if you ‘kick off at home’ you can expect to face a 28 day ban.”
From 2 June, new powers mean that officers entering a home in the immediate aftermath of domestic violence can prevent the perpetrator from returning to the address and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days by initially serving a Notice on them.
The magistrates’ court must then hear the case for the Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) within 48 hours of the Notice being made.
If granted, the Order may last between a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 28 days. This strikes a balance between immediate protection for the victim and judicial oversight.
“This is one of many measures we will have in place to address domestic abuse during the World Cup.“
Det Supt Cullen added “As well as improving immediate protection for victims and their children, this allows the victim a level of breathing space to consider their options, with the help of a support agency. It also allows the police to look at the investigation in the cold light of day and work with the victim to arrive at the right outcome. “
Warwickshire PCC Ron Ball “We hope the new DVPOs will help reduce incidents of domestic abuse over the longer term. This follows the introduction of Clare’s Law in Warwickshire on 10 March 2014. Together these new police powers help increase protection for people in Warwickshire. “
Warwickshire County Council’s Domestic Abuse Manager, Sue Ingram said: “National research has shown that the combination of heightened emotions and increased alcohol consumption during major sporting events is linked to a rise in reported incidents. Please remember that this does not make it any less serious or harmful, domestic abuse is never acceptable. We want people to know that support is available for anyone affected by domestic abuse and urge anyone with any concerns to get in touch with services who can help.”
Det Supt Cullen added “We will be engaging with statutory and voluntary agencies including the Blue Sky Centre SARC in Nuneaton and the courts to heighten awareness that there may be a potential increase in reporting of Domestic abuse during this period.
We will also be looking at other safeguarding measures that can be put in place.
For example, by using analytical work to identify potential repeat offenders of domestic abuse we can be ready to act sooner. This may mean increased patrols in the area able to respond quicker, briefing local officers so they are aware, personally visiting the potential perpetrator and referral to MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) if the circumstances are assessed as high risk, so that a variety of protective measures can be put in place.
We will also be promoting the use of body worn video where available when attending incidents of domestic abuse and extra resources will be put in place the day following a match where a game falls on a weekend for example. This will consist of a team of police staff as well as dedicated investigative capability so that enquiries around domestic abuse incidents can be fast tracked.
Please look our for the ‘World Cup’ posters that police and partners have distributed across the region both to deter perpetrators of domestic abuse and encourage those affected by domestic abuse to seek help. Police and partners will also be using social media to inform, raise awareness and challenge the public’s views around domestic abuse – please follow us on twitter @warkspolice.
One way we aim to challenge the public’s views around domestic abuse is by promoting A Call to Men UK’s Youtube clip. This tells the story about a boy who is asked how he would feel if he was told he played football like a girl. The boy said he would be ‘destroyed’. He shouldn’t feel this way and the video clip explains why. You can view the clip by following this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l69N0-iURhY
More information about domestic abuse is available for victims, perpetrators, friends and family, and young people on www.talk2someone.org.uk or by calling the Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse helpline on 0800 408 1552 or the Free phone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge.