Calls to police from victims of domestic abuse in West Yorkshire rose by a third after England’s first Euro 2016 match.
West Yorkshire Police recorded a 33 per cent increase in 999 domestic abuse calls after the country’s football team drew 1-1 with Russia in their opening game on Saturday.
A total of 3,606 calls, including 999 and 101 calls, were received by the force Saturday between 8pm and 3am – an increase of 200 calls on the previous week.
Police are now warning people that “a moment’s madness” towards a partner during football drama will not be tolerated, and could lead to a lifetime of consequences.
Det Supt Darren Minton, of West Yorkshire Police’s Safeguarding Central Governance Unit, said: “Following on from England’s first match in the tournament, where they drew against Russia, our call handlers had a busy night taking calls from domestic abuse victims and also other calls relating to anti-social behaviour.
“So far, the number of reported domestic abuse related incidents has shown that there has been a rise when England has been playing and I would like to reiterate our message that domestic abuse will not be tolerated and a moment’s madness towards a partner during the drama of the football can lead to a lifetime of consequences.
“These could be anything from prison terms for violent offences, loss of access to children, loss of access to social housing, the break-up of relationships and also bans from pubs or other public places.”
Control room staff posted information on Twitter about call levels and incidents throughout the evening on Saturday to help paint a picture of how busy its officers were.
Tom Donohoe, head of the force’s Customer Contact Centre, said: “West Yorkshire Police Call handlers had to deal with a great number of calls relating to disturbances and alcohol related calls after the England match, as well as a large number of calls which were not Police matters but nevertheless occupied staff at key points during the evening.
“On a busy night staff coped really well and the Force still managed an average queue time for 999 calls of 7 seconds, prioritising our most vulnerable callers.”
The force is organising a special webchat on Wednesday from 7pm to talk about domestic abuse.
It will include officers and the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson.
Mr Burns-Williamson said: “Domestic abuse and domestic violence are completely unacceptable, there’s no reason for a violent or abusive home, and it’s something no-one should have to live with at any time.
“If anyone has any questions on domestic abuse I would urge them to join Wednesday’s web chat if they are able to. Questions can be asked anonymously and the session can be replayed at any time.”
He urged victims to report incidents of domestic abuse to the force or other agencies to ensure they get the help they need.
Those who feel they may be at risk of being victims can contact West Yorkshire Police on 101.
If it is an emergency and you feel you are in immediate danger then people are advised to call 999.
A national domestic violence 24 hour helpline can also be called on 0808 2000 247.