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Suffolk police issue World Cup plea

PUBLISHED: 09:47 04 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:32 06 July 2010

SUFFOLK police are urging people to enjoy the World Cup - and to behave sensibly and appropriately.

The force says it's eager for everyone to enjoy the tournament, but it is also aware that an increased amount of alcohol and intensified emotions can lead to an increase in public order offences and domestic violence.

SUFFOLK police are urging people to enjoy the World Cup - and to behave sensibly and appropriately.

The force says it's eager for everyone to enjoy the tournament, but it is also aware that an increased amount of alcohol and intensified emotions can lead to an increase in public order offences and domestic violence.

With South Africa 2010 kicking off on June 11 - and with England playing their first game the next day - a countywide poster campaign is being launched to highlight the issues of domestic violence, public order offences and hate crime.

It follows the launch last week of a national domestic abuse campaign by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), pointing out that domestic abuse cases increased by nearly 30pc on England match days during the previous World Cup.

Suffolk did not see the same increase in the total number of incidents in 2006 but it did see an increase in the number of domestic abuse incidents on England match days where alcohol was a factor. The highest came during the England-Ecuador match when 25 out of 30 incidents of domestic abuse incidents reported were alcohol related, equating to 83pc.

Suffolk police are backing this national campaign and have created a poster headed 'This is not a Game' showing a Subutteo man standing next to a Subutteo woman lying on the floor. It urges people to 'Blow the Whistle on Domestic Violence' this World Cup.

Marianne Fellowes, of the force's domestic abuse team, is urging not only the victims of domestic abuse to come forward but also friends and family who are aware that it is taking place.

She said: “Alcohol is no excuse for emotional, financial, physical or sexual abuse within a relationship. This is why we have joined up with partner agencies to warn potential offenders, and to encourage victims and family members to report incidents. Those who are violent after football matches may have been drinking, but the majority of them will already be behaving abusively when not drunk as well. There are opportunities nationally and locally for both offenders to change their behaviour and for victims to understand the true nature of abuse, and to access groups or individual support. We encourage people to seek help out as soon as possible whether it is through ourselves or other organisations.”

Suffolk police will also be focusing on policing the county in relation to public order offences.

Two posters have been produced in order make people think about the consequences should they not behave appropriately. The first continues the football theme saying, 'Remember, if too much alcohol makes you kick off, we've always got room on our bench.' The second depicts a pub menu, which lists drinks and their prices alongside offences and the price some people will face this summer. While a pint of lager will cost you £2.90, aggressive behaviour will cost £80 and a ban at your local.

In preparation for policing during the World Cup, each district in Suffolk has developed its own specific policing plan, with local police and licensing officers identifying places that are showing football matches.

There will be an increased police presence on England match days in town centres throughout the county to minimise the risk of any alcohol-related disorder. Should any major public order incidents take place, there will be specially trained officers on duty and available to respond as soon as possible.

Supt John Everett said: “We encourage everyone to enjoy the World Cup, while staying tolerant to others and making sure they don't drink to excess. If everyone behaves appropriately and gets home safely without having committed any criminal offences it promises to be an exciting month for all.”

The fourth and final poster in the campaign focuses on hate crime.

Suffolk is a diverse county and just like the World Cup, has representatives from many different countries. Through the poster campaign and work within the community Suffolk Constabulary is encouraging people to 'Call time on hate crime' and hope that everyone, no matter who they support, can enjoy the World Cup.


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