As the World Cup kicks off in Brazil a partnership campaign has been launched to raise awareness about alcohol related behaviour and domestic abuse in Wiltshire and Swindon during the tournament.
Wiltshire Police are teaming up with Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council to tackle the risk of violence at home or in public places.
The ‘enjoy it, don’t spoil it’ campaign is being run in support of the Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) drive to raise public awareness about research which shows cases of domestic abuse can increase by nearly 30 per cent on England match days.
Superintendent Gavin Williams said; “We have put a great deal of time and effort into this year’s campaign, with the intention of showing the public of Wiltshire and Swindon that domestic abuse and violent crime will not be tolerated.
“We will be stepping up police enforcement over the summer across the county. With full involvement and support from our partners, victims and witnesses of alcohol-related behaviour will be encouraged to report offenders.”
The police presence will increase across Wiltshire and Swindon in public areas where matches will be shown throughout the World Cup to ensure that fans enjoy themselves responsibly. Partnership agencies are working alongside Wiltshire Police in hotspot areas to hand out leaflets and give advice about alcohol and domestic abuse.
Wiltshire Police and partners are using the tag line of ‘Show domestic abuse the red card’ on World Cup promotional material.
Detective Inspector, Ben Mant from the Public Protection team said; “Domestic abuse is never acceptable. I am extremely concerned that previous football competitions, such as the World Cup, have seen an increase in both abuse and violence.
“Wiltshire Police understands that domestic abuse is complex and some people at risk don’t feel confident to immediately report it to the police. I would like to reassure those people that there are 24 hour numbers available where independent professionals are able to offer practical advice and guidance to keep you and your families safe.
“We will continue to fully support victims and deal positively with perpetrators throughout the period of the World Cup.”
Maggie Rae, Wiltshire Council corporate director and chair of the Wiltshire Community Safety Partnership, said: “We work with our partners to ensure people know that anti-social behaviour is never, and will never, be acceptable.
“The World Cup is a great opportunity for us all to enjoy ourselves, but we’re keen to ensure that people are able to this safely. Our World Cup campaign compliments our ‘No Excuse for Abuse’ campaign, and is designed to remind everyone that help is available, not to suffer in silence and to have the courage to speak out about Domestic abuse.
“Wiltshire Council and its partners are focusing on raising awareness of domestic abuse and encouraging people to access appropriate help and support early on to prevent future escalation.”