Essex Police concerned over domestic violence in Harlow as World Cup set to start

Crime / Mon 14th Nov 2022 at 09:14am

AHEAD of the kick-off of the Men’s football World Cup on Sunday (20 November), Essex Police is urging fans to watch and behave responsibly, whether that be in one of the many venues around the county which will be showing matches or at home with family and friends.

Tailored policing plans will be in place across the county from Grays to Harwich on each England matchday, scheduled to take place on Monday 21 November, Friday 25 November and Tuesday 29 November.

An Essex Police spokesperson said: “Of course, we all hope the team progresses into the tournament’s knockout stages and appropriate policing plans will be put in place for each subsequent England game – we hope the whole way up to the final on Sunday 18 December.

“We know football tournaments can lead to an increase in the risk of public order and that is why we plan for additional resources to be in place on matchdays.

However, we also know the risk does not stop at venues showing matches. Sadly, that risk of incident continues into homes across the county.

“Domestic abuse is not solely connected to football and in fact we have highly trained teams dealing with incidents 24/7 365-days-a-year, but we do know there is an increase in incidents throughout major tournaments.

This year, Essex Police plans to lead the way when tackling domestic abuse throughout the world cup.

Where we are called to incidents of a domestic nature, our priority will always be the safety and wellbeing of victims. We will always encourage them to be supportive of police action against the perpetrator.

But we also know that will not always be the case. Where we cannot secure an immediate charge against a perpetrator, we will proactively use the powers available to us in order to safeguard victims throughout the tournament.

“We issue Domestic Violence Prevention Notices (DVPNs) to perpetrators who we have not yet received authorisation to charge but who we strongly suspect have been violent in the domestic setting.

These notices run for 48 hours and mean the perpetrator cannot return to the home in that time. Within 48 hours, a court hearing takes place where the notice is converted into a Domestic Violence Prevention Order. That order is then in place for 28 days.

Throughout the tournament, where there is evidence that a domestic incident can be directly linked to football, officers will also compile evidence to submit to the Crown Prosecution Service which will consider asking the courts to apply a football banning order to convicted perpetrators.

That would be in addition to any restraining orders or non-molestation orders imposed by the court.

In order to do that, we will have to submit evidence to show a person is guilty of a “relevant offence”, which is laid out in the Football Spectators Act 1989, which includes “any assault”.

The CPS and the courts will then have to decide whether there are reasonable grounds that applying the order would help prevent violence or disorder at or in connection with football matches.

We are determined to work with our colleagues in the CPS in order to secure these orders where possible.

And just as with domestic incidents, we will take robust action against anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car and drink drives.

Our Roads Policing Unit will lead our response by increasing high visibility patrols on all our roads, both strategic and rural: there will be no road that can be used to evade being caught.

In addition, we have hundreds of police officers trained to take drug wipe tests at the side of the road, meaning you’re just as likely to get caught for drug driving.

As part of our plans, we are working with the courts to expedite cases through the judicial process.

A drink or drug driver could be arrested one day and find they are disqualified from driving at court the next day. The loss of your driving licence could have far-reaching consequences: it could mean the loss of a job, loss of your relationship, or loss of your home if you cannot pay the bills.

We will also be working closely with licensed premises and volunteer organisations across the county to ensure that our communities can support their local businesses safely.

Through the PubWatch scheme, licensed premises will be able to use the Behave or Be Banned (BOBB) initiative. This will allow them to ban any individual that uses or threatens violence in their venue.

The duration of a ban is decided on a case-by-case basis but can often last up to two years. In serious cases, an individual may be banned for life.

If an individual is banned from one venue, they will also be banned from all other PubWatch venues in the area.

We’re also asking anyone that sees someone become suddenly unwell on a night out to report it and seek help immediately.

If you’re worried about your own safety, you can also ‘Ask for Angela’ at the bar to alert staff.

Sadly, recent experience also tells us that we see a rise in hate crime during major tournaments. A hate crime is defined as any incident which is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on a personal characteristic – this can be disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity.

‘Hate crimes of any sort, be it in person or online, are not tolerated in Essex and we will work hard with the CPS to bring offenders to justice”.

Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow, who is leading the Essex Police World Cup operation, said: “The World Cup kicks off on Sunday and we, like you, are looking forward to watching England taking part in the tournament and hopefully going one step further than they did during the Euros last year.

“However, more than anything else we are asking the public to watch and celebrate the tournament safely. Please do not to score an own goal by using it as an excuse to commit crime.

“We will have appropriate policing plans in place on each England matchday. That means officers will be in town and city centres across the county to quickly respond to emergency calls, either at venues or in homes; it means there will be more officers on the roads ready to respond to reports of drink and drug driving.

“If you do use the event to take part in disorder or commit crime, we will take action.

“We have also been in touch with licensed premises across the county and they are aware of what is expected of them throughout the next month.”

Ch Supt Anslow added: “Domestic abuse is a force wide priority all year-round but sadly we do know that there is an increase in domestic incidents during major football tournaments.

“We are determined to use all powers at our disposal to protect victims of domestic abuse. DVPNs and DVPOs are just some of the effective tools in our kit.

“Our priority is clearly to secure justice for victims, and ensure their safety and, when appropriate, to put offenders in front of the courts. But using the orders available to us prior to any charges being secured will ensure victims remain protected even before a perpetrator is convicted.”

“If you’re worried about your own behaviour and have noticed yourself acting aggressively towards other people, you also have a responsibility to help your family members or partner and change your behaviour. Please seek help through us or our partners before it gets out of control.”

Ch Supt Anslow added: “Whether you’re watching the games in one of the county’s many licensed venues or at home with family and friends, please be safe and do not let tempers fray.

“Our town centre teams and licensing officers work closely with all our venues and with local authorities’ licensing teams to make sure Essex is a safe place for people to socialise.

“We will fully support our pubs, bars and other venues in banning or arresting anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to bring violence through their doors.

“If you witness anyone threatening or assaulting someone, please report it. We all have a duty to look out for one another.

“Likewise, if you, your friend or someone you see across the room suddenly becomes unwell during a night out, report it as soon as you can and seek help from someone you trust.

“If you’re worried about the behaviour of someone towards you, ‘Ask for Angela’ at the bar to alert staff.

“And if you’re planning on having a drink, please do not, under any circumstances, get behind the wheel and attempt to drive home.

“It should go without saying, but sadly it doesn’t, that e-scooters are not alternatives to taxis. Getting on board an e-scooter is exactly the same offence as getting behind the wheel of a car.

“If you see someone or know that someone will attempt to use a vehicle to get home after drinking, please do the right thing and tell us before it’s too late. Not only will that person likely injure themselves, but they could also kill someone’s loved one – it’s as simple as that.”

On how we tackle hate crime in the county, Ch Supt Anslow added: “Hate crime is a priority for Essex Police and, very simply, will not be tolerated.

“We work very closely with other Essex partners to tackle hatred committed anywhere across the county, and we work closely with the CPS to make sure that hate crime offenders are brought to justice.”

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1 Comment for Essex Police concerned over domestic violence in Harlow as World Cup set to start:

2022-11-14 11:11:49

If thats true, than it should be forbidden ( at least for some of small brain one's)

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