Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police are advising people of the consequences of drinking too much and letting their emotions get the better of them during this summer’s World Cup.
Russia 2018 starts on 14 June for a month-long festival of football featuring 32 nations from across the globe, including England.
Incidences of alcohol-related violence and domestic abuse often increase during the summer months, especially when there is a large sporting event taking place.
Detective Chief Inspector Craig McWhinnie of Devon & Cornwall Police, said: “Most people just want to enjoy the football and support their teams. We just want to remind people that alcohol is not an excuse for bad behaviour and we will be taking a robust stance in dealing with any perpetrators of violent crime and domestic abuse.
“Those who commit domestic abuse or violence risk arrest and could find themselves served with a Domestic Violence Prevention Order from the Civil Court which could see them banned from seeing their family.
“Our advice to victims would be that if you are worried that you may be at risk of domestic abuse, don’t wait – contact the police or any of our partner agencies and you will receive the help that you need. Domestic abuse is never ok. Passionate support of any sport does not justify domestic violence.”
Police are working closely with partner agencies, bars, pubs and social clubs to help them prepare for the tournament, to make them aware of their responsibilities and to encourage people to drink responsibly.
DCI McWhinnie added: “During the World Cup there is increased potential for drivers to still be over the limit the morning after as some of the matches are scheduled in the evening, and people may be drinking later than they usually would.
“We are reminding people to be sensible, not get too carried away and to drink responsibly. Please don’t drink and drive as you could lose your licence, your job or even take a life - it’s simply not worth the risk."