Surrey Police shows violent offenders the red card during the World Cup

First published in News

Surrey Police has said it has shown violent offenders the red card, with the latest figures highlighting that public place and domestic violence incidents fell during this year's World Cup. For although England's performances on the pitch disappointed, total levels of violent offences reported during the World Cup, which ran from June12 to July 13, fell by around 40% compared with the figure recorded during the 2010 tournament.

Police also saw a 15% reduction in the number of domestic violence incidents reported during this year's World Cup, compared with the tournament four years ago.

The figures also showed that the average number of violent offences - including recorded public place violence offences and domestic violence offences - which were committed during this year's World Cup, was less than the average number of offences recorded between January and May this year.

The Force carried out additional high visibility patrols in town centres across Surrey both during and after high-profile matches, to respond to any public disorder and prevent increases in public place violence.

But officers were only required to attend a very small number of football-related incidents. In the build-up to the tournament, neighbourhood officers worked closely with local authorities and licensees from pubs and clubs throughout Surrey to help prevent trouble and disorder from occurring. Police also used new powers to prevent domestic violence during the World Cup through the introduction of Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPNs) and Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) at the start of the tournament.

The protection notices ban anyone suspected of committing a domestic violence offence from returning to their victim's home address, and from having contact with the victim for 48 hours.

The aim of the notices is to allow the victim to have the required time and space away from the offender to make positive decisions regarding further action, and is part of Surrey Police's commitment to providing the highest quality victim care.

During the 48-hour period when the notice is in place, Surrey Police will seek to obtain a DVPO from a magistrates court to extend the ban for a further 28 days, giving the victim an extended period of time to consider their options, and seek help from a range of support services.

Anyone who breaches the order, or any of the associated conditions, could face arrest, a possible £1,000 fine and two months in prison.

A total of 20 Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) have so far been imposed by the courts across the county.

Superintendent Duncan Greenhalgh said: "It's obviously extremely satisfying that violent offences across the county have dropped during the World Cup, and this demonstrates that our positive and robust approach has had the desired impact.” Supt Greenhalgh said: "The plans put in place for policing World Cup matches ensured that everything went smoothly, and I am pleased to report that we had very few football-related arrests.

"We are continuing to encourage Surrey residents to enjoy a safe and enjoyable summer of sport and I would again stress that large events are not an excuse for public place and domestic violence.

"We will not tolerate violent behaviour and I can promise that our officers will be using all available options to crack down on offenders – including continued use of Domestic Violence Protection Orders and Notices – to ensure the best quality of care for victims of crime.

"I'm pleased that at this stage we have a 100% success rate in terms of our DVPO applications being approved by the courts.”

He added: "If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please report it to us, or contact specialist domestic abuse outreach services available across Surrey.”

The Force said that over the summer, it will continue to work closely with partner agencies, including Surrey County Council, local borough councils and Surrey Against Domestic Abuse, to tackle domestic incidents.

Members of the public can also view a range of videos, artwork and other information about the crackdown on summer violence by visiting Surrey Police's official Facebook page and Twitter account.

Surrey Police will continue to use #TheHardCell over the summer months to highlight the possible consequences for any individuals who flout the law.

Those who suspect their friend or family member is experiencing domestic abuse, are being encouraged to call the yourSanctuary 24-hour domestic abuse Surrey helpline on 01483 776822, or visit http://www.surreyagainstda.info/ to get advice. Alternatively if the abuse has become serious, it should be reported to the police by calling 101, (online http://www.surrey.police.uk/) or through Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, (online http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/). In an emergency always dial 999. Domestic abuse affects one in four women and one in six men in Surrey at some point in their life. It is actual or threatened physical, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse and involves the use of power and control by one person over another, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, age, religion, mental or physical ability.

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