Football fans in Leeds urged not to let the World Cup ruin lives
The World Cup is a time of excitement for many across the country, but fans are being reminded not to let the occasion result in violence towards their loved ones in response to what happens on the pitch. Leeds City Council is supporting West Yorkshire Police with a campaign to raise awareness of the spike in domestic violence incidents during major sporting events.
In order to raise awareness of the campaign, the council’s Domestic Violence Ambassadors will be visiting pubs and clubs across the city to distribute posters and leaflets. This is in addition to delivering training to staff at licensed premises to help them identify the signs and help prevent incidents occurring.
As well as prompting fans to show violence the red card the council and its partners want to ensure people who are affected by domestic violence know where to go for help.
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council's executive member for communities, said:
“Domestic violence in any relationship is completely unacceptable and is something no-one should have to live with at any time. Intense emotions and excess alcohol on a match day are no excuse for aggressive, intimidating or violent behaviour.
"It's vital that anyone affected by domestic violence knows where they can go to for support and that it is never their fault. This is why our Domestic Violence Ambassadors are heading out around the city to make sure we are spreading the word far and wide.”
Police evidence has shown that during the major football tournaments, and other big sporting events, there are spikes in domestic violence incidents, particularly during key games or matches that fall on weekends.
For example, on the day of the first England game during Euro 2016, West Yorkshire Police were called to 185 domestic violence incidents, compared to 152 incidents on the same day the previous week. On the day of the final match between Portugal and France there were 204 reports of domestic violence made to West Yorkshire Police.
For help and advice people can call the Leeds Domestic Violence Service 24 hour helpline on 0113 2460401 or visit: www.leedsdomesticviolenceandabuse.co.uk. In cases of immediate danger people should call 999.