Show the red card to domestic abuse (31 May 2016)

Final _euro _2016_artworkAhead of this Summer's Euro 2016 tournament, West Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner are urging fans not to 'lose it all for football' after receiving a high volume of calls relating to domestic abuse incidents during major tournaments.

West Yorkshire Police has a policy of positive action against perpetrators. Every report of Domestic Abuse is attended by a Police Officer and where appropriate a crime is recorded, investigated and the victim safeguarded.

During the previous tournaments, Euro 2012 and the World Cup, the police saw domestic abuse increase by a third and receiving an average of 110 calls per game.

West Yorkshire Police are urging football fans to enjoy the upcoming tournament in the right spirit and also warned that inflamed passions and excess alcohol will be no excuse for domestic abuse ahead of England's first Euro 2016 game on 11 June.

In the month leading up to this year's European football tournament, officers have been sending red cards to people wanted on warrant by West Yorkshire Police for domestic abuse offences and directing them to hand themselves in or they will be arrested when the Police see fit; in a bid to reduce the number of domestic abuse incidents across the district.

Pat _casserly _red _card _picSuperintendent Pat Casserly, of Protective Crime Operations, said: "Incidents of domestic abuse increase during football tournaments. Ahead of the tournament we are seeking out those who are wanted for this senseless crime, and in keeping with the football theme are issuing a red card for those at large.

"This is an opportunity for them to get the crimes dealt with. If they don't comply, we will trace them and arrest them; this could be at their homes or places of work. We want to make people safe and feel safe from Domestic Abuse. It is only football - attacking your partner does not change the result on the pitch."

During the last European football tournament, police received nearly 3,000 calls relating to domestic abuse incidents, on average, 83 per cent of which the victims were female and 39 incidents where children were present.

Detective Superintendent Darren Minton, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Our message is very clear; whatever the result is on match day, there's no excuse for domestic abuse, if you lose it during the football, you could lose everything - including your family and your job.

"We will always put the needs of the victim and any children first - help is available for victims or people who are worried that their partner may become violent.

"If you or someone you know is a victim of any type of abuse do not hesitate to report any incident to us. We can and will support you and help stop this abuse. We take all reports of this nature very seriously and our officers are specially trained to deal with these issues sensitively, putting your needs first.

"To victims of domestic abuse I would say, any time, 365 days of the year if it's ongoing, ring 999. If you want to report it any other time you can ring 101 and a call operator will handle your call as sensitively as possible."

As part of the campaign, West Yorkshire Police is joining forces with National Probation Services, Safer Leeds, NHS, as well as local councils to raise awareness about the devastating impact of domestic abuse.

Leaflets and posters will be distributed to pubs and clubs across the county, as well as on social media. Big screens in city centres, including Leeds Millennium Square, Leeds Trinity Shopping Centre, Bradford Centenary Square and Wakefield Trinity Walk.

West Yorkshire Police are working closely with NPCC, CPS, HMIC and within multi-agency partnership arrangements to continually improve our services to reduce Domestic Abuse, protect vulnerable people including children and secure the desirable outcome for the victim.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said: "Domestic abuse and domestic violence are completely unacceptable crimes, there's no reason for a violent or abusive home and it's something no-one should have to live with at any time.

"It's vital that victims know that domestic abuse is not their fault and that they do not have to put up with it. I urge any victims to report these incidents whether that is to West Yorkshire Police or another agency - then we can make sure everybody gets the help they need. Victims may also find useful information on the Help for Victims website

"I will be doing all I can to get this message out there."

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 ring 999. A national domestic violence 24 hour helpline can also be called on 0808 2000 247 or visit for additional help and support.

For more information, please visit

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