‘ENJOY it, don’t spoil it’ is the message from Wiltshire Police as England prepare for their opening game against Italy tonight.
They have teamed up with Wiltshire Council and Swindon Council to launch the ‘Enjoy it, don’t spoil it’ campaign to tackle the risk of violence at home or in public places.
Superintendent Gavin Williams said: “The World Cup comes around every four years so my message to everyone is to enjoy it, but be aware that if they become violent or disorderly then we will take action. If there are related arrests then we will push for bail conditions preventing people from entering licensed premises.
“I will be on duty myself along with commanders across the region. We have staff on duty who have been informed and briefed on what to expect and how to deal with issues which may arise. This will be a high visibility operation as we seek to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable World Cup.
“We have an intelligence unit who will be able to identify any potential areas of trouble and a mobile unit able to respond if it is needed. We also have extra staff on duty in our domestic violence team.”
The campaign is being run in support of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) drive to raise public awareness about research which shows cases of domestic abuse can increase by nearly 30 per cent on England match days.
Superintendent Williams added: “We have put a great deal of time and effort into this year’s campaign, with the intention of showing the public of Wiltshire and Swindon that domestic abuse and violent crime will not be tolerated.”
The police presence will increase across Wiltshire and Swindon in public areas where matches will be shown throughout the World Cup to ensure that fans enjoy themselves responsibly. Partnership agencies are working alongside Wiltshire Police in hotspot areas to hand out leaflets and give advice about alcohol and domestic abuse.
If you are a victim or witness to domestic abuse or alcohol-related behaviour, dial 999 in an emergency or 101, the non emergency number. For domestic abuse advice and support contact Swindon Women’s Aid on 01793 610610, or Victim Support on 08453 030900.