CAMBS: Fewer than expected domestic abuse calls reported during Euro 2012

FEWER domestic abuses incidents were reported to Cambridgeshire police than expected during Euro 2012.

Between the start of the tournament, held by Poland and Ukraine, on June 8 and June 24, there were 678 calls compared to 673 during the same period last year.

Officers ran a campaign leading up to the football and increased support to victims and also had support cars with specialist officers to respond to domestic related incidents.

The force had expected to receive more calls as during the 2010 World Cup, there were 1,213 incidents, compared to 1,015 in the four weeks before and 1,062 for the same period in 2009.

Detective Inspector Chris Balmer said: “Previous football tournaments have seen an increase in incidents of domestic abuse but thankfully this has not been the case in Cambridgeshire during Euro 2012 so far.

“As a precaution we have had additional and specialist resources available to deal quickly with domestic related incidents to prevent any serious offences being committed.

“It is great that there has been no increase in domestic violence but one incident is one too many and the force has still had 678 domestic related calls during the football tournament.”

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In the last year Cambridgeshire police has seen a fall in more than five per cent of domestic abuse victims.

Det Insp Balmer added: “Our work to support victims and deal robustly with offenders continues and I would encourage anyone who is a victim of abuse not to suffer in silence and take that first step towards seeking help.

“In April we launched the force’s first Domestic Abuse Investigations and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU) to investigate all domestic abuse crimes, meaning victims deal with specially trained officers.”

The force works closely with charities, such as Refuge and Womens’ Aid and the Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy Service (IDVAS), and schools, social care and housing to tackle domestic abuse at all levels and from all sides.

Cambridgeshire police was the first in the region to introduce a MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferencing) group, which manages individual cases of domestic abuse and looks at ways of reducing the risk of harm to partners and children.

Officers also work with the National Centre for Domestic Violence which provides quick access to legal support and court assistance from solicitors.