The European Championship kicks off on Friday 10 June, and, while most people will be enjoying a month of football, others will become victims of domestic abuse.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“No-one should have to face domestic abuse, but we know that reported incidents of domestic and sexual violence increase during sporting events such as the Euros.
“As a result we want to promote the measures we’ve put in place in Croydon and ensure that people know that additional help is on hand during this period.”
Anyone needing support should contact the council’s Family Justice Centre on 020 8688 0100. If in immediate danger, they should call the police directly on 999.
During the Euro games, a rapid response vehicle will be used to provide greater support to police response teams, should the rate of call outs to domestic abuse incidents increase.
The Family Justice Centre and Croydon police’s community safety unit (CSU) have been piloting the rapid response car scheme since February to provide immediate help and support to borough victims when they call the police.
The vehicle has been used for two eight-hour shifts a week, staffed by an FJC independent domestic violence advocate (IDVA) and a CSU officer, and used specifically to attend incidents of domestic abuse within the borough that require the immediate intervention of specialist support.
The support service also provides advice and support to leave the home immediately in order to prevent further abuse should the person wish.
Chief Superintendent Andy Tarrant, Croydon’s borough commander, said: “The Met will not tolerate domestic abuse in any circumstances. It’s a serious crime and we’re committed to working with all our partners and local communities to safeguard victims and pursue offenders.
“My message to victims is: if you feel you cannot tell the police, please tell someone – there is a wide range of third-party reporting facilities available.”
The National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline offers round-the-clock support to those experiencing domestic abuse. Call free on 0808 2000 247, or visit www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/ for more information.