Police are warning that domestic abuse will not be tolerated before, during or after the World Cup.
During the last World Cup in 2014, 897 domestic incidents were reported to Cleveland Police.
Officers say that although there is no evidence to suggest that domestic abuse rises as a result of the World Cup, there has been a significant increase as of late.
During all England matches, Cleveland Police will be providing an additional level of response to domestic abuse incidents, with the use of a domestic abuse support car in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, and local support services Harbour, Foundation and Eva.
Mr Coppinger said: “This joint initiative began in January of this year by providing a support car on a weekend and it has been successful so far.
“A support worker and a police officer respond to domestic abuse incidents using the additional car, which offers a bespoke service to victims of domestic abuse tailored to their individual needs.
“Key aims of the support car are to improve the service that victims receive and reduce the number of repeat victims by increasing early intervention and early engagement with victims.
“It is important that we raise awareness of domestic abuse, to prevent violence and where it occurs, to help victims cope and recover.”
Specialist Crime Superintendent Anne-Marie Salwey said: “The World Cup, as with other major sporting events, is often associated with an increase in incidents of domestic abuse because of factors such as increased alcohol consumption and an increase in tension.
“We have a team of dedicated domestic abuse specialists who understand how difficult it is for a victim of domestic abuse to come forward and the sensitivities required.
“For those who refuse to address their behaviour our message is clear; we will not tolerate domestic abuse and will take action against anyone who uses physical or mental abuse to control, coerce or harm a member of their family. Football can never be the reason for domestic abuse and will be shown the red card.”
If you believe you are aware of someone who is victim of domestic abuse or if you are a victim yourself, please seek support from support services.
The National Domestic Violence Freephone 24-Hour Helpline can be called on 0808 2000 247.
The Clare’s Law, which allows the police to disclose information confidentially about a partner’s previous history of domestic abuse or violence via “right to ask” and ‘right to know’.
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2sPTKQK.