Police warning ahead of England verses Uruguay games following spike in domestic abuse calls (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Police warning ahead of England verses Uruguay games following spike in domestic abuse calls
1:50pm Thursday 19th June 2014 in News
CALLS about domestic abuse in West Yorkshire rose by a more than a third during England's first World Cup game.
Police received 92 calls during and after the 2-1 defeat to Italy on Saturday - an increase of 36 on the previous night.
A total of 827 emergency calls were received over a 12-hour period surrounding the game, many of which for "alcohol-fuelled incidents."
Ahead of England's second group game against Uruguay at 8pm tonight, police control room supervisor Merle Simpson, who spent last Saturday night tackling domestic abuse calls, has urged victims to pick up the phone and not suffer in silence.
"When I worked during the first England game on Saturday, although I was prepared for it, I was still shocked that the number of calls increased and that calls about domestic violence increased," she said.
"We had 36 victims of domestic violence extra on the Saturday compared to the previous night, which itself was typical of any Friday night when people go out drinking.
"There is no doubt that when people drink too much we do get an increase in calls. During the World Cup there are more people drinking in homes and bars. This often means we get domestic abuse related calls from people fuelled with alcohol coming home from bars and people who have been in a home environment with tensions mounting during the evening.
"We are not blaming football for this, we are blaming alcohol. People were not drinking responsibly and then taking it out on the nearest and dearest to them."
Police said staff had done their best to help victims as calls were coming in, with officers dispatched to ongoing incidents within as little as two minutes in some cases.
Anyone who feels they may be at risk of being a victim of domestic violence can contact West Yorkshire Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.
A national domestic violence 24-hour helpline can also be called on 0808 2000 247, with a national helpline for those who feel they may be at risk of committing domestic abuse on 0808 8024040
More help and advice on preventing domestic violence can be found on the West Yorkshire Police website at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/worldcup14.