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Domestic Violence Campaign Relaunched For World Cup


7:40am 24th January 2014

A successful operation to protect victims of domestic violence in Dorset is going to be re-launched for the Football World Cup this summer.

Dorset Police visited over 70 high-risk domestic abuse victims in their homes over Christmas to make sure they were OK and offer any support they may need.

Reports of domestic abuse tend to rise during the holidays and the Force say they're going to bring back the special operation for the World Cup football tournament.

Dorset Inspector Steve Thorpe says alcohol fuelled abuse typically increases when temperatures rise amongst fans;

"History will tell us that we get increased domestic abuse over football competitions. Often the abuse is alcohol fuelled and often comes when the team loses for instance, so it's just something we need to prepare and plan for."

Inspector Thorpe says the visits over Christmas were successful and well received; it makes sense to carry them out again;

"Part of the reassurance visits was to make sure nothing else had taken place and if it had we were there and they could report matters to us. We did get further reports of offenses and we may not have got those reports if we hadn't made the follow up visits."

During the Christmas and New Year period Dorset Police reported a decrease in Domestic abuse incidents of 5 per cent compared to the same time the previous year. It's hoped that trend continues as they put more focus on helping victims.

Inspector Thorpe said anyone suffering domestic abuse should come forward and report it, so that action can be taken to keep them safe;

"I would also warn anyone committing an act of domestic abuse - you will be arrested and dealt with robustly. Domestic abuse offences can attract significant custodial sentences.

"In the future we intend to inform victims of domestic violence that they can expect a welfare visit from a police officer as part of Operation Maple.

"It is our intention that Operation Maple visits will be carried out during the FIFA World Cup in June and July and again over the Christmas and New Year period."

For more information on support services available throughout Dorset visit http://www.dorsetforyou.com/dvahelp

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