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Predicted rise in domestic incidents materialised at the weekend, after Maidstone opened a special one-stop shop

By Kent Messenger reporter

Police dealt with a spike in domestic violence incidents across the county at the weekend when England played their first World Cup game.

On Saturday, June 14, and Sunday, June 15, police were called to an extra 21 reports of domestic incidents compared to the previous weekend.

It comes as Maidstone council opened a special one-off clinic to deal with the issue in the town, which will run for the five weeks of the tournament for the first time.

An increase in domestic abuse during the World Cup had been anticipated, as historically the number of reports increases by around 10%.

Domestic abuse reports are often reported to police. Thinkstock image
Domestic abuse reports are often reported to police. Thinkstock image

The force has launched a campaign to raise awareness that support is available for anyone suffering.

Domestic abuse can be emotional, sexual, financial, or threatening and controlling behaviour from a partner; not just physical abuse.

Det Chief Insp Andy Pritchard said: “Football doesn’t cause domestic abuse, but it can certainly be a factor that can compound it within certain relationships. There are other factors such as alcohol that can be aggravating factors. We predicted that there would be an increase in domestic incidents during the tournament and we want people to report these incidents to us, and to be confident about doing so. Domestic abuse is historically an under-reported crime, but there is a huge amount of support available for men and women who have found themselves in an abusive relationship and they should be reassured that help is available if you are a victim.”

World Cup
World Cup

The Maidstone clinic, which is being run in association with North Kent Women’s Aid, is held in the children’s centre in Rutland Way, Shepway, on Thursdays until Thursday, July 17.

You can also visit www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk for details of the help and support available in Kent.

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