Page last updated at 01:31 GMT, Friday, 1 January 2010

Domestic violence warning ahead of football matches

domestic violence
Incidents of domestic violence increase on derby match days

Police will send football fans text messages urging them to avoid violent behaviour in a bid to halt the rise in domestic abuse associated with games.

Around 17,000 supporters at Sunday's Hibs v Hearts derby will receive the texts via bluetooth asking them not to be violent to their partners.

An extra 750 officers have been drafted in for Sunday's Celtic versus Rangers match at Celtic Park.

Police said domestic abuse rises over new year and around derby matches.

Strathclyde Police have contacted around 800 repeat offenders in the run-up to the Old Firm game.

Officers in Glasgow will carry out bail and curfew checks, monitor pubs and patrol areas renowned for violence, and will also be advising potential victims on how they can protect themselves.

The Hearts' players are pleased to support this very important campaign during such a high-profile game against our city rivals
Michael Stewart
Hearts captain

Superintendent Bob Hamilton of Strathclyde Police said: "Domestic abuse round about 1 January is almost three times what it is on a normal day.

"That fact added to there being an Old Firm match thrown into the mix on 3 January is something that causes significant concern.

"We're trying to put what we can in place to stop people becoming victims. It's a difficult challenge but we need to say to these people: it's not acceptable.

He added: "These people take alcohol, walk from the pub and then assault their partners, and that's not acceptable.

"I'm not going to sit here and wait for someone to become a victim of a serious crime."

Raise awareness

Chief Superintendent Gill Imery of Lothian and Borders Police said: "Unfortunately during the festive period, incidents of domestic abuse are known to increase.

"As a result, Lothian and Borders Police are actively trying to raise awareness of this issue and of organisations which can provide support, advice and assistance."

Hibs and Hearts players will wear white ribbon badges at Easter Road to support the White Ribbon Campaign against domestic abuse.

Hibernian manager John Hughes said: "We hope that by wearing white ribbons during the derby match our players will help highlight this important issue to a wide audience."

Hearts captain Michael Stewart said: "The Hearts' players are pleased to support this very important campaign during such a high-profile game against our city rivals."



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SEE ALSO
Old Firm domestic abuse warning
07 May 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Old Firm domestic abuse warning
07 May 09 |  Scotland
Old Firm backs violence campaign
26 Dec 07 |  Scotland

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