Council gives support to World Cup domestic violence campaign

Leeds City Council is supporting a campaign by West Yorkshire Police to tackle and provide support to victims of domestic violence during the football World Cup, following a rise in the number of cases reported before and after games during previous major tournaments.

During the 2010 World Cup there was a 22.5% increase (an additional 179 incidents) reported in Leeds between the dates of England games and the comparable days of the previous month. This was mirrored during the 2012 European Championships as despite an overall reduction in the number of reports compared to 2010, there was still an increase in cases when England played.

A key element of this year’s campaign during the World Cup will focus on raising public awareness of services available to help victims and potential perpetrators, whilst also setting out the ramifications to anyone with a history of domestic violence if they are thinking of again engaging in this type of act. This will be undertaken by partners through the distribution of posters and information leaflets, use of internet sites, media releases, Facebook and Twitter.

With England’s opening group game against Italy kicking-off at 11pm (14 June), 8pm against Uruguay (19 June) and 5pm v Costa Rica (24 June), potential negative consequences of binge drinking before, during and after each match will also be clearly spelt out. Research has shown that alcohol abuse can contribute to increased levels of domestic violence.

This work will sit aside a tough zero tolerance policy by West Yorkshire Police, who will be delivering a range of initiatives through the month-long operation that will include dedicated patrols in and around town centres and extra resources being made available to respond to domestic violence incidents. The police have also given an undertaking to use the full powers at their disposal, including the effective use of new Domestic Violence Protection Orders that allow a court to ban a perpetrator from a residence with immediate effect and prevent them returning for up to 28 days.

In any emergency, please ring West Yorkshire Police on 999, or for further help and advice call 101.

Provided by the Safer Leeds Partnership, there is also a 24 hours a day Leeds Domestic Violence Service (LDVS) phone line that offers confidential support and advice from trained staff for all victims of abuse aged 16 or older. The Leeds Domestic Violence Service can be contacted on: (0113) 2460401.

Councillor Mick Coulson, Leeds City Council’s lead member for community safety said:

"Tackling domestic violence remains a key priority for Safer Leeds, and as part of our work we are supporting this campaign by West Yorkshire Police which is aiming to significantly reduce the number of cases we have seen during previous major international football tournaments.

"This will be done by raising public awareness, and also setting out clearly to a would-be perpetrator or anyone with a history of domestic violence, the tough action that will be taken by the police if they abuse a partner or family member.

"The vast majority of people who drink do not become violent or abusive, but we want to deal with the times when it may be a factor in domestic violence cases. We will also be highlighting once again the range of services available in Leeds to victims, where they can be guaranteed support by fully trained staff that will always listen, never judge and offer the very best practical advice and support."

Geoff Dodd, assistant chief constable of West Yorkshire Police said:

"The simple message will be that if you offend, you will be arrested and prosecuted. We have new powers available such as Domestic Violence Protection Orders and additional resources; we are determined to use them to protect victims, prevent offences and prosecute offenders."

Notes to editors:

Services offered by the Safer Leeds Partnership include the following:

Callers can be guaranteed ringing the 24 hours a day Leeds Domestic Violence Service (LDVS) phone line that they will be listened to and treated with dignity and respect and can be offered access to further services depending on their needs. This could include being provided with a number to call for additional help or being signposted for face to face support. Depending on personal circumstances, a place in a refuge may also be offered but at no time will pressure be put on any caller to leave their partner or home if they are unsure or do not want to.

For further help and advice, there are also the following national numbers to call:

Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247 (for women)

Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327 (for men)

Jewish Women’s Aid 0808 801 0500 (for Jewish women)

Broken Rainbow 0300 999 5428 (LGBT on the keypad – for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people)

A number of drop in-sessions ware held three times a week at venues in the city centre. Funded by the NHS and delivered by Leeds Women Aid, a wide range of advice, support and signposting to specialist services is available. For more details, please ring LDVS: 0113 246 0401 or 07776 228196.

The Safer Leeds Partnership is also responsible for overseeing enquiries which are made as part of new legislation entitled ‘Clare’s Law’, which enables people to ask police if their partner has a history of domestic violence. The partnership uses a multi-agency approach to respond to women and/or their relatives who enquire about the past domestic violence offences if they are concerned the person may cause harm to a partner.

Six Clare’s Law applications have, to date, been discussed since February 2014 by the partnership, and as part of this work, a pro-active approach has been taken to inform partners about previous offences as well as offering support. Details and further information around Clare’s Law can be requested at the following email address: leeds.safeguarding@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk or by telephone: 0113 2414180.

For media enquiries, please contact

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk