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We are encouraging football fans to make sure they behave responsibly on the eve of the World Cup.
England’s quest for glory begins on Monday 21 November, with Gareth Southgate’s side hoping to be the first men’s team to win a major international honour since 1966.
While the overwhelming majority of football fans will enjoy watching the games safely and sensibly at home or at public settings, such as pubs, we will be running policing operations throughout the tournament because figures show that several offence types increase when England play. Many of those crimes are linked to alcohol consumption.
Chief Inspector Stuart Bell said: “We want people to go out and enjoy the matches during the World Cup. We hope that England progress deep into the tournament and can give the country an early Christmas present by returning home with the trophy.
“From a policing perspective, we have a duty of care to all to keep people safe, and that’s why we will be carrying out extra patrols throughout the tournament across Avon and Somerset.
“We do not want to stop people have fun – that’s not our aim. Our number one priority is public safety and there can be no excuse for football-related disorder and criminality.”
Football-related disorder can see offenders receive football banning orders preventing them from attending fixtures.
One of the most notable increases in crime types seen nationally during football tournaments is the number of domestic abuse reports made. Nationally, the average number of domestic abuse calls to police rises significantly if England lose and even if they win there is a noticeable increase.
Ch Insp Bell continued: “The rise in domestic abuse reports around football matches is truly shocking. It’s utterly unacceptable and we will look to ensure offenders are dealt with robustly.
“We’d like to encourage all victims of domestic abuse to please report it to us. We will investigate and help you get the support and advice you need, as well as make sure you are safe.
“We will also be running a drink-drive campaign throughout the duration of the tournament and reminding people of the importance of road safety.
“Drivers need to remember that if they are out drinking overnight, there remains a real possibility they could be over the limit in the morning too and not safe to drive.”
To report an offence, such as domestic abuse or if you know about someone currently driving under the influence of drink or drugs, call 999. For general reporting or enquiries call our non-emergency number 101.
For more information about support available for domestic abuse victims, visit www.thisisnotanexcuse.org