Police launch Euro 2012 campaign to tackle domestic abuse
21 June 2012
WEST Midlands Police today (8 June) launches its awareness campaign against domestic abuse as the first match of Euro 2012 kicks off in Poland.
The campaign forms part of Operation Coy – the force's Euro 2012 operation which also targets known troublemakers attempting to travel abroad to matches and alcohol-related violence, disorder and anti-social behaviour back on home turf.
The domestic abuse aspect of the campaign is designed to tackle concerns regarding a potential rise in reports of domestic abuse during the football tournament.
Officers who specialise in investigating and supporting victims of domestic abuse will be on duty across the region to deal with incidents – also visiting known offenders to make it clear that they face a swift and robust response from police if they are violent and abusive to family members.
Domestic abuse rose by more than 1300 reported incidents during the 2010 World Cup, compared to the previous tournament in 2006.*
The 2006 World Cup tournament saw domestic abuse related calls to police forces nationally increase by an average of 25 per cent on England match days.
Police are reminding the public that the abuse can affect anyone – male or female – and victims are encouraged to come forward and seek support as many attacks still go unreported.
Posters and leaflets, produced in conjunction with Birmingham Community Safety Partnership, will send out clear messages to fans and their families watching matches at licensed premises throughout the West Midlands that domestic abuse is always unacceptable.
They feature a hard-hitting image of a woman's head beneath a football boot and the message "Red Card!"
Other posters relate to an expected increase in the number of people staying at home to watch matches, often drinking alcohol purchased from local supermarkets and off-licenses.
Licensing officers in the region's towns and cities will urge these businesses to back the police operation by adhering to regulations for the sale of alcohol and playing their part in ensuring a trouble-free tournament.
The force will also use its @WMPolice feed on the micro-blogging site Twitter to help communicate domestic abuse statistics and helpline numbers in the run up to football matches, during and after they have finished to reiterate that the abuse will not be tolerated and support is available.
Nationally, one in four women and one in six men are affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime. And in the West Midlands, an average of 30 per cent of domestic abuse victims are repeat victims within a year.
Children witness about three quarters of domestic abuse incidents.
Inspector Kim Madill, Public Protection Manager, said: "This campaign is about encouraging all victims to seek help and to highlight the fact that victims from all walks of life can be affected by domestic abuse and support is available to all.
"Domestic abuse can be psychological, physical, emotional and sexual and is known to be an under reported crime for all victims, be they women or men in a variety of relationships and also members of ethnic minority communities. We want to raise awareness of the help that is available out there.
"Offenders face the prospect of spending time in custody during the tournament. We will also seek to use bail conditions to protect victims, and in some cases this may prevent people from returning to the family home. Domestic abuse is a serious crime, and we will make sure that it is treated as such."
If you are a victim of abuse, you do not have to suffer in silence. West Midlands Police ensures that people and families affected by domestic abuse are given access to all of the support that is available. In an emergency always dial 999, but to talk to a domestic abuse officer in your local area call 101.
If you would prefer not to talk to the police, there are many other support services available that can be viewed from www.west-midlands.police.uk by selecting the 'Victims and Witnesses' option under 'More About Us.'
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