Football isn’t always a beautiful game
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Northamptonshire Police is launching a domestic abuse campaign today, to coincide with the start of the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship.
Scheduled to run until Sunday, July 11, the campaign aims to encourage reporting and signpost victims to help and support, while sending out a strong message to perpetrators – if you commit domestic abuse you could end up missing the match as there’ll be a knock on the door from an officer and a warrant for your arrest.
As part of the campaign, officers are currently working through a ‘most wanted’ list of those responsible for high-harm domestic abuse, stalking and harassment. Photos of these perpetrators will be circulated in the media.
Sadly, there is an unacceptable link between football tournaments and domestic violence. As football fever takes hold, it isn’t a beautiful game for those living in fear of abuse. Analysis indicates that during both the most recent World Cup and Euro football competitions, domestic abuse rose by nearly 10 per cent in the county.
The Force’s specialist Domestic Abuse Team have been set the task of arresting the county’s most wanted offenders and will be using additional resources the Force has put in place for the Euros to help them achieve this. Additional investigators will be on duty before and after each fixture to deal with the possible numbers of prisoners, with domestic abuse supervisors acting as advisors.
Detective Superintendent Rich Tompkins, the Head of Public Protection said: “Two weeks ago the Chief Constable launched his four ‘matters of priority’, of which domestic abuse is one.
“We received huge public support for our domestic abuse campaign during Christmas 2020 and this led to the arrest of over 300 domestic abuse suspects in December alone, some of whom had been wanted for several weeks. In order to try and keep people safe we want to replicate this focus over what is unfortunately likely to be a busy period in the next few weeks.
“Domestic abuse is an abhorrent crime which has no place in our society, during football tournaments or any other time of the year. It can be physical or psychological and affects women, men and children, from all walks of life. Nobody should have to live in fear of it happening to them.
“We work closely with statutory and voluntary agencies to ensure anyone who suffers domestic abuse gets the help they need and we are continually exploring ways in which we can better protect our communities.
“Our role is prevention, protection and prosecution - to prevent further violence, to protect the victim, children and other vulnerable people and to facilitate the prosecution of offenders. We want anyone impacted by domestic abuse to know there is help out there.
“I want to encourage anyone suffering from domestic abuse within Northamptonshire to call us via 101 or, in an emergency ring 999.”