Sussex Police are preparing for an increase in domestic abuse incidents during the World Cup this summer.
During and after the four matches England played in South Africa during the 2010 tournament, reports of domestic abuse increased significantly. Across the four evenings, there were 138 such reports - 61 more than the total across the same four days the previous June.
In a bid to tackle the issue this year, officers will be specifically tasked at peak times during and after England matches to help protect victims and families from abuse.
Alongside their response role, the officers will be 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. They will proactively visit individual victims and offenders in appropriate cases. In addition, there will be teams of specialist investigators to carry out further enquiries.
Detective Superintendent Paul Furnell of the Public Protection Branch said, “The patrolling units will help provide a prompt response to domestic violence incidents and officers will be equipped with video cameras 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.”
Anyone aware of danger of harm to an adult or child within a household can ring the police on 101 at any time or the East Sussex Domestic Abuse Service on 0844 225 0657. In an emergency, dial 999.