Police reveal help for those experiencing domestic abuse ahead of Euro 2024

Police in Cumbria are stressing there is no excuse for domestic abuse – as officers enhance measures to tackle offenders and protect potential victims ahead of Euro 2024.

In previous years, there has been an increase in reports of domestic abuse during major football tournaments, when alcohol-fuelled nights out and inflamed emotions arise.

Officers have been planning for this possibility for some time – and are keen for those who suffer such offences to know help and support is available.

Measures are in place for what is expected to be a busy period for pubs as Euro 2024 kicks off on Friday with Scotland playing Germany.

England play their first match on Sunday June 16 against Serbia.

What officers are doing

Additional visible patrols will be out in the main nightlife areas of the county.

On top of this:

  • Officers will be deployed in specialist roles as part of the force’s efforts to tackle the issue of domestic abuse and violence against women and girls. These officers are trained to spot potential offenders who may target vulnerable people coming out of pubs and clubs and at taxi ranks and takeaways.
  • There will be extra resources in place to attend any reports of domestic abuse at the times people may be returning home from the pub or when the whistle is being blown on big matches.
  • The operational response will also include work in custody units once suspects have been arrested. As well as investigating crimes and safeguarding victims, trained officers can make referrals to other agencies to put abusers on a path to change their ways.

Detective Superintendent Matt Scott, head of Public Protection at Cumbria Police, said: “Let’s be clear: football is not a cause of domestic abuse – but environments involving high emotions and alcohol consumption can sometimes lead to violent or abusive behaviour.

“We want anyone who is following the football this summer to enjoy it. Events such as these can see the country come together in what we hope will be an exciting tournament.

“But we want to see the beautiful side of the game; not the ugly results of people losing their tempers and taking out their frustrations on loved ones.

“Domestic abuse and protecting vulnerable people are priorities for us all-year-round – what we are doing during this tournament is enhancing our response at a time we know could lead to more reports.”

Officers want people to know there is support available and they don’t have to suffer in silence.

Those who commit abuse are also encouraged to face up to their responsibilities and seek help.

Det Supt Scott said: “Nobody should ever have to suffer domestic abuse – and if you’re scared, there is help out there.

“Tackling these awful crimes and safeguarding vulnerable people is a key priority for us.

“We take reports seriously and we treat all cases with sensitivity.

“If you are suffering, please get in touch. We are here to help and support you.

“Even if right now you only have questions, I would urge you to contact us.”

Support services

Police are keen to stress the range of support services available.

Det Supt Scott added: “Getting the right support can empower someone to take their next positive step forward.

“There is a whole wealth of support services available in Cumbria. As the police, we can help you access these support services.”

Breaking the cycle of abuse

The operational response to domestic abuse also includes custody-based intervention to point detainees towards breaking the cycle of abuse.

This can include making referrals for issues such as addiction or to schemes working with perpetrators of abuse to address underlying causes of behaviour.

Det Supt Scott said: “While people are in custody we have an opportunity to divert offenders onto a more positive path while progressing criminal investigations.

“Victims of domestic abuse are more likely to engage with police and other agencies while their abusers are in custody.”

Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, David Allen, said: “Events such as the Euros bring many of us together to enjoy the festivities and, for the majority, are an exciting and overall positive time.

“However, for some, these celebrations can turn violent, which there is never an excuse for.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe around their partner or family member and should not have to depend on the outcome of a football game or how much their partner drinks at a party in order to feel safe.

“There is no excuse for domestic abuse.

“If you have been or believe you will be a victim of domestic abuse, please reach out to the Police – they are there to help.

“However, I understand that not everyone is comfortable approaching the Police, which is why I specifically commission services in Cumbria to support those who experience abuse – historic and recent – no matter if it has been reported to the Police or not.

“Victim Support Cumbria can be reached on 0300 303 0157. The national 24/7 helpline is 0808 1689 111. There is also a dedicated live chat online for those who may not be able to speak at www.victimsupport.org.uk .

“Women’s Community Matters in Barrow can also support women with multiple issues such as domestic abuse and housing and can be reached on 01229 311102. Gateway 4 Women in Carlisle and Workington provides similar services, and their number is: Carlisle – 01228 212090 and Workington – 01900 403220 respectively.

“The Freedom Project in West Cumbria can also provide a free holistic family approach, working with victims, perpetrators and children suffering from the trauma and effects of domestic and sexual abuse. They can be contacted on 07712 117986.

“Please do not ever suffer in silence – there is help available for you.”

How do you report domestic abuse to police?

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned for someone who is, you can report this by calling 101.

Always dial 999 in an emergency.

You can get more advice about domestic abuse here: Advice about domestic abuse | Cumbria Police

How do I access a range of support services?

You can access support services regardless of whether you have reported a crime to the police.

To access support services independently, contact Victim Support 24/7 on 0808 1689 111 – or go to: cumbria-pcc.gov.uk/victim-service/

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