A feared spike in domestic violence during this summer’s World Cup did not materialise.
Sussex Police announced a number of initiatives this summer in a bid to counter an anticipated rise during the month-long tournament.
Figures released to The Argus show that reported domestic violence incidents did rise marginally compared to last year’s non football summer.
Domestic violence charities praised the police but warned that the reported incidents were just “the tip of the iceberg”.
On average there were 46 incidents reported on each of the three England match days of Saturday June 14, Thursday, June 19 and Tuesday, June 24 during the country’s short-lived and fruitless campaign in Brazil.
This was a 27% increase on the same number of reports during the same period last year.
Throughout the tournament as a whole, there were an average of 41 reports a day compared to 36 for the same period last year.
During tournament officers were kept up to date about previous or likely victims who may be particularly vulnerable, and about suspected or proven offenders who may pose a higher risk.
Police officers also proactively visited individual victims and offenders in appropriate cases and teams of specialist investigators were on hand to carry out further inquiries.
The force also had new tools at its disposal including new domestic violence notices and orders to keep offenders away from their victims.
During the World Cup in 2010, domestic violence reports during England’s matches almost doubled compared to 12 months earlier.
Detective Superintendent Paul Furnell said: "It may be that the preliminary work we carried out in visits to previous offenders and their victims, and subjects of football banning orders, had an impact.
“We will be de-briefing the police teams involved and talking to the victims to see if we can arrive at a more precise assessment..”
Gail Gray, CEO of domestic abuse charity Rise, said: "We are pleased the police took a proactive approach to supporting survivors of domestic abuse during the World Cup. “If the campaign publicity encouraged even one more person to report, that can only be a good thing. “However, 46 incidents in a day is still a significant number.”
- If you are a victim of domestic violence call Sussex Police on 999 or seek support from the following groups:
- The 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk
- West Sussex - WORTH on 0330 222 8181 www.worthservices.org
- Brighton and Hove - RISE helpline on 01273622822 www.Riseuk.org.uk
- East Sussex Domestic Abuse Service on 0844 225 0657
- Broken Rainbow - LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline 0n 0300 999 5426 - www.brokenrainbow.org.uk
- Men's Action Line on 0808 801 0327 - www.mensadviceline.org.uk