England’s first World Cup match kicks off on 18 June, and for many of us it will be an excuse to have a beer or two.
For some people though, it could be a flash point for abuse with alcohol-related violence fuelled by heightened emotions around the tournament. In previous World Cups, domestic abuse cases rose by as much as 38% immediately after an England match.
Police are so worried that they have put extra officers with domestic abuse training on duty around every match England play.
Hampshire Police will put ten additional specialist officers in five response vehicles for all of England’s group stage matches during the tournament in Russia.
Extra officers will also be on duty for the World Cup Final on 15 July.
The force has said it will assess the need for additional resources for other matches as the tournament progresses.
The force said their decision was based on research from Lancaster University criminologist, Dr Stuart Kirby. He found that domestic abuse cases rose after England matches in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
In Dr Kirby’s paper, published in the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, he found that in one force area violent incidents rose by 38 per cent when England lost and even rose by 26 per cent even when they won.
There was even a carry-over effect, with incidents of domestic abuse 11% higher the day after an England match.
Home Office figures relating to the 2010 World Cup echoed those results.