Cleveland Police is issuing a stark warning to violent offenders as the start of the Euro 2016 tournament approaches.
The Force is encouraging the public to get behind the tournament and to enjoy it as much as possible, however, in the past national research has shown a clear link between alcohol consumption and domestic abuse, and therefore officers will be using the tournament to highlight the support available for victims of domestic abuse.
Neighbourhood teams will distribute hard-hitting posters amongst local communities to raise awareness of the agencies available to access support for victims of domestic abuse.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “Addressing domestic abuse forms an important part of my crime prevention role and I have a long-standing commitment to a Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy alongside my PCC colleagues in Durham and Northumbria.
“Since the Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy was adopted, we have been working together across Cleveland and the wider region to tackle domestic abuse by taking a partnership approach with police forces, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the prison service, probation, local authorities and other statutory and voluntary organisations.
“It is important that we unite to raise awareness of domestic abuse, to prevent violence and where it occurs, to help victims cope and recover.”
Chief Inspector Dave Sutherland said: “We want all members of our local communities to enjoy the tournament as much as possible, especially as it’s the first time that three of our home nations are taking part.
“Although we are encouraging everyone to have a great time, we also want to use this opportunity to raise awareness regarding domestic abuse. We know that sporting events and the better weather may encourage people to have a drink at home or whilst out watching the games and we don’t want to see abuse being committed as a result of that alcohol consumption.
“We take incidents of domestic abuse extremely seriously and we want to send out a clear message to offenders that we will not tolerate it.
“There is no excuse for any kind of abuse. The tournament should be an enjoyable experience for those visiting France and for those staying at home - without domestic abuse playing a part.
“Those involved in domestic abuse need to understand that it is a serious criminal offence and wherever possible we will put perpetrators before the courts.”
Becky Rogerson, from domestic abuse support charity, My Sisters Place, said: “My Sisters Place is a specialist domestic abuse service offering support, advice and practical help to victims. Domestic abuse occurs throughout the year but we often see a rise in incidents during high profile football events.
“We welcome the opportunity to work closely alongside Cleveland Police to ensure everyone enjoys the tournament safely; this initiative enables us to offer support to victims ‘on the day’ and make the situation safer.
“In addition we will be talking to men through our new ‘Route2’ Project offering perpetrators the opportunity to talk about their behaviour and work with us to stop further incidents occurring.”
Victims of domestic violence or abuse are encouraged to seek help from support services. The National Domestic Violence Freephone 24 Hour Helpline can be called on 0808 2000 247.
Support agencies in the Cleveland area can be found on the Cleveland Police website: https://www.cleveland.police.uk/advice-information/DomesticAbuse.aspx
Posted on Friday 3rd June 2016