Brazil World Cup 2014 could spark domestic violence in Essex, say police

Research suggests the threat of violence in the home increases during the competition, particularly

Research suggests the threat of violence in the home increases during the competition, particularly when England play, in part because culprits drink more heavily. - Credit: Archant

The World Cup could spark a rise in domestic violence in Essex, police fear.

Essex Police have set up operations to identify potential abusers and limit the risk of attacks once the football tournament starts on Thursday.

Research suggests the threat of violence in the home increases during the competition, particularly when England play, in part because culprits drink more heavily.

In Essex, police believe domestic incidents could rise by 26 per cent when England lose or draw during the four-week tournament in Brazil, and increase by 33 per cent when England win.

In June last year in the county, there was an average of 84 domestic incidents every day. Essex Police have warned this could rise to more than 100 a day when England play during the World Cup.


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Detective Superintendent Ewen Wilson said stress, poor anger management, mental health issues, depression and substance abuse could all lead to the increase in domestic violence.

He said: “In addition, emotional stressors are combined with situational factors – the tournament is held in the summer and is associated with warmer temperatures and increased alcohol consumption and fans can often identify with team success or failure as if it was their own, which can have an impact on their behaviour.”

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He added: “The majority of football fans are well behaved and enjoy watching the games with family and friends.

“We want the tournament to be a time that everyone can enjoy, which is why we have put a number of policing operations in place, to help to keep it a safe time for everyone.

“It is important to remember that is not the actual World Cup that heightens the risk of domestic incidents but specifically when the England team plays.”

Meanwhile, Essex Police have identified the top 117 perpetrators most likely to offend during England matches. One-hundred men and seven women have been targeted in a crack down on domestic abuse crime under Operation Shield.

The force also has a number of additional resources in place to deal with any increase in related incidents, including extra double and single-crewed cars in place during and after all England matches and the following day.

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