Surrey Police cracking down on violent offences over the summer

16 June 2014

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Surrey Police is introducing new powers to help show the perpetrators of violence the red card ahead of the start of the FIFA World Cup later this week.

The festival of football kicks off in Brazil on Thursday, 12 June and England begin their campaign with a match against Italy on the evening of Saturday, 14 June.

The force traditionally sees an increase in reports of violent offences and anti-social behaviour over the summer months (May, June and July) particularly when large sporting events are taking place.

During the 2010 World Cup recorded public place violence went up by 14.5 per cent, which included a 33.7 per cent increase in alcohol related violence, and domestic violence levels rose by 26.2 per cent.

Police and partner agencies are taking a number of positive steps to tackle this issue - including the introduction of Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPNs).

The protection notices ban anyone suspected of committing a domestic violence offence from returning to their victim's home address and from having contact with the victim for 48 hours.

The aim of the notices is to allow the victim to have the required time and space away from the offender to make positive decisions regarding further action and is part of Surrey Police's commitment to providing the highest quality victim care.

During the 48-hour period when the notice is in place Surrey Police will seek to obtain a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) from a magistrates court to extend the ban for a further 28 days, giving the victim an extended period of time to consider their options and seek help from a range of support services.

Anyone who breaches the order or any of the associated conditions could face arrest, a possible 1,000 fine and two months in prison.

The force will also have additional high visibility patrols in town centres across Surrey both during and after high-profile matches to respond to any public disorder incidents and to prevent increases in public place violence during the tournament.

Superintendent Duncan Greenhalgh said: "We want people to have fun and enjoy what promises to be a memorable summer of sport but the minority who ruin events through criminal behaviour or other unlawful activities will be dealt with robustly.

"I would like to stress that the World Cup and other sporting events taking place this summer are not an excuse for public place and domestic violence.

"We will not tolerate violent behaviour and will use all options available to crack down on offenders - including Domestic Violence Protection Orders and Notices - to ensure the best quality of care for victims of crime.

"We also recognise that Surrey has a large number of visitors from abroad and people from overseas who have made their homes here who will be cheering on their teams as they progress through the tournament and we want them to be able to enjoy it as well.

"We are also adopting a joint command structure with Sussex Police and each force will be able to provide extra officers to the other if the need arises."

As part of the campaign Surrey Police will also be working closely with partner agencies including Surrey County Council, local borough councils and Surrey Against Domestic Abuse.

Neighbourhood officers have also worked with local authorities and licensees from pubs and clubs through Surrey to help prevent trouble and disorder before it occurs.

Members of the public will also be able to view a range of videos, artwork and other information on the campaign throughout the World Cup by visiting Surrey Police's official Facebook page and Twitter account.

Surrey Police will also be using #TheHardCell to highlight examples of individuals who have flouted the law and been arrested by Surrey officers.

Those who suspect their friend or family member is experiencing domestic abuse, are being encouraged to call the Surrey Against Domestic Abuse helpline themselves on 01483 776822 or visit www.surreyagainstda.info to get advice. Alternatively if the abuse has become serious it should be reported to the police by calling 101, (online www.surrey.police.uk) or through Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, (www.crimestoppers-uk.org). In an emergency always dial 999.