DOMESTIC abuse rises during football tournaments, according to the police.

To combat the increase in offences, officers have launched a campaign urging victims not to suffer in silence,to reassure them that reports will be taken seriously and offered support.

During the last World Cup in 2010 Cambriddgeshire police received 1,213 reports, compared to 1,062 during the same weeks in 2009 and 1,015 in the four weeks before the tournament.

Detective Inspector Chris Balmer, from the force's Public Protection Department, said: "We know that domestic abuse can escalate during these events and that alcohol and other factors can play a part although they are not the sole cause.

"Those people who use violent and abusive behaviour in their relationships may try to minimise, rationalise and excuse their actions but there is no excuse.

"Victims do not need to tolerate the abuse or suffer in silence. We will take their reports seriously, work with them and take positive action."

Cambridgeshire police's specialist investigations team looks into crimes linked to domestic abuse but also offers advice on how to stay safe and reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

Officers work 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.

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

The summer initiative will be supported by the force's 'Get Closer' campaign which will include radio adverts encouraging victims to report domestic violence and not suffer in silence.