Domestic abuse increases in Hampshire over Euro 2020 final weekend with spike in 999 calls after final whistle

CASES of domestic abuse skyrocketed this weekend when England played in the Euro 2020 final.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 9:51 am
File posed phot of domestic abuse. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA
File posed phot of domestic abuse. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Stop Domestic Abuse runs refuges and a helpline service in Hampshire and said it was ‘inundated’ with calls and emails.

The charity received a 17.5 per cent increase in calls on Saturday and Sunday compared to the same period last month.

Referrals across the tournament remain 30 per cent higher than they were since the start of the Euros.

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Chief executive Claire Lambon previously said domestic abuse is ‘never acceptable’ and demand increases when ‘any major events happen’.

She said the service did not want to ‘attribute domestic abuse to external factors’ of a specific event.

Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said the increase was ‘depressing’.

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He said: ‘We should celebrate their achievement – okay, it would have been great to have won but the team has got better and better over the years and we’ve got a manager who does a really good job.

‘That should be a source of pride and optimism, not a source of hatred that means you hit your partner and your kids.’

It comes as Hampshire police received an increase in emergency calls after the final where England lost to Italy on penalties.

Officers could be seen in Albert Road, Southsea, where large crowds previously gathered after the semi-final.

Chief Inspector Mark Lewis, who led the force’s Euros policing, said: ‘We did have an increase in calls to us at the final whistle, including from licensed premises and within homes.

‘However we had a robust plan in place and increased numbers of officers on duty which allowed us to cope with demand.

‘Public safety has been our number one concern while policing the Euros, whether that is preventing street disorder, domestic abuse or hate crimes.

‘I would like to thank the people of Hampshire for their support and hope this continues for the World Cup next year.’

The advice line is open Monday-Thursday 9.30am-5.30pm and Friday 9.30am-5pm.

Call the advice line on 03300 165 112. If you are in Portsmouth call (023) 9206 5494.

On social media, England substitutes Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were subjected to racial abuse after missing their penalties.

Co-ordinator of Portsmouth’s Black Lives Matter movement, Mariam Daniel, said that while the tournament has brought people closer together, it has shown the true nature of others.

‘People say England is not a racist country what’s happened after the final proves otherwise,’ she said.

‘If we’re winning it’s all smiles, but as soon as we lose the racism starts.

‘My heart sank when the penalties were missed – not only because of the football result but because I knew what would follow afterwards.’

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