Don’t kick-off during this summer’s tournament

Posted on: 14 June 2018

Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for public health is supporting a campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence and abuse, during the World Cup 2018.

Incidences of alcohol-related violence and domestic abuse often increase during the summer months, especially when there is a large sporting event taking place.

As Russia 2018 starts today, Thursday 14 June, for a month-long festival of football, Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police are advising people of the consequences of drinking too much and letting their emotions get the better of them during the World Cup.

Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member, Cllr Roger Croad, said:

“Football plays a big part in many people’s lives. It has the power to bring people together as part of the crowd and stir people’s emotions in support of their team.

“Big matches are also a time when domestic violence and abuse increases, more police are called out to domestic incidents and more victims of abuse end up at A&E with violence-related injuries.

“Some people will be dreading the World Cup.  I am supporting this awareness raising campaign in the hope that it makes people stop and think about their behaviour and that we can celebrate football while working to end domestic violence and abuse.”

Andy Gillard, Operations Manager at Exeter City Football Club, said:

“The World Cup is a fantastic celebration of football and people. Exeter City Football Club works hard to ensure we create a safe, friendly and fun environment for everyone to enjoy football. We are proud to support this campaign to raise awareness of this issue and like our partners want to see an end to domestic violence within our community. We hope everyone can enjoy the World Cup and the rest of the summer”

Detective Chief Inspector Craig McWhinnie of Devon & Cornwall Police, said:

“Most people just want to enjoy the football and support their teams. We just want to remind people that alcohol is not an excuse for bad behaviour and we will be taking a robust stance in dealing with any perpetrators of violent crime and domestic abuse.

“Those who commit domestic abuse or violence risk arrest and could find themselves served with a Domestic Violence Prevention Order from the Civil Court which could see them banned from seeing their family.

“Our advice to victims would be that if you are worried that you may be at risk of domestic abuse, don’t wait – contact the police or any of our partner agencies and you will receive the help that you need. Domestic abuse is never ok. Passionate support of any sport does not justify domestic violence.”

Police are working closely with partner agencies, bars, pubs and social clubs to help them prepare for the tournament, to make them aware of their responsibilities and to encourage people to drink responsibly.

DCI McWhinnie added:

“During the World Cup there is increased potential for drivers to still be over the limit the morning after as some of the matches are scheduled in the evening, and people may be drinking later than they usually would.

“We are reminding people to be sensible, not get too carried away and to drink responsibly. Please don’t drink and drive as you could lose your licence, your job or even take a life – it’s simply not worth the risk.

“We will also be monitoring incidents and arrests both here and in Russia linked to the football, with a view to applying to the courts for football banning orders where appropriate.

“Those in the UK who had an existing football banning order have already been prevented from leaving the country until the Russia 2018 has ended.”

In an emergency, always call 999. If you or someone you know is being abused, help is available:

National Domestic Abuse helpline: 0808 2000247

Domestic abuse support: www.domesticabusehelp.co.uk

Drinking responsibly: www.drinkaware.co.uk

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