Don’t kick off this summer

England-two_social-squareSo we now know who has won the football Premier League, the FA CUP, who has been promoted, and who has suffered the heartache of relegation.

Normally as a football supporter you would have to wait until August before the action starts again, however this year we have the European Championships – aka Euro 2016.

So how will this affect the way we police?

As the weather gets warmer, and the football kicks off, more alcoholic drinks will be consumed and emotions will be heightened.

From today (Friday 10 June), when the tournament kicks off, police forces across the country will be preparing for an increase in domestic violence, violent disorder and alcohol related public order offences.

Research has found that domestic violence cases increase during these types of events.

A study by Lancaster University found that incidents of domestic abuse rose by 38% when the England team played and lost, when compared with days that England did not play.

The study also reported that there was a carry-over effect, with an 11% rise of domestic abuse the day after a match.

Bedfordshire Police aim to combat this with our dedicated Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit taking positive action against offenders and carrying out victimless prosecutions in order to safeguard vulnerable people.

The force will also have additional officers working on the evening of key matches, in order to minimise alcohol related violent disorder and anti-social behaviour.

Ultimately we want to people to enjoy the tournament and celebrate their country progressing, however we also want people to be safe, to drink sensibly and within their limits.

Alcohol fuelled incidents see a huge strain on all emergency services, so our licensing and partnership teams have been working hard to ensure that all licensed premises are on board to support a safe tournament for everyone.

I am sure the community of Bedfordshire will be following this tournament with great interest.

But please drink sensibly and make sure you get home safely.

Don’t drink and drive. Don’t get involved in that pub fight. Don’t take your anger and frustrations out on those around you.

Enjoy the tournament and may the best team win.

Response sergeant Nigel Gallagher
Luton Police Station

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