Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Drop in domestic abuse incidents on Old Firm match days

domestic violence
Incidents of domestic abuse on match days have fallen in recent months

Incidents of domestic abuse on Old Firm match days have fallen by almost a quarter, according to Strathclyde Police.

The force has been targeting offenders with a known history of domestic violence ahead of games in a bid to tackle the problem.

The number of attempted murders and serious assaults have also fallen.

During a festive crackdown on domestic violence more than 2,000 offenders were arrested.

An eight-week campaign, throughout January and February, saw officers attend 3,961 incidents of domestic abuse.

In the same period there was a 24% reduction in the number of cases reported to police.

Officers worked in conjunction with the Domestic Abuse Task Force.

Last year Scotland's biggest police force published figures showing a 41% increase in domestic violence on days when Celtic and Rangers met in league or cup clashes.

We welcome any reduction in figures and believe that our intervention tactics are having a positive impact
Det Ch Insp Peter McPike
Strathclyde Police

Strathclyde Police said many of the incidents after Old Firm games were fuelled by excessive drinking.

Extra officers were drafted in on match days to help prevent violence and disorder, and to visit pubs ahead of the game.

Officers also visited the homes of known offenders. More than 800 perpetrators of domestic abuse were targeted prior to the Old Firm match on 3 January.

The force said that on average, over the past five Old Firm games, domestic abuse had fallen by 23%, with attempted murders down by 29%.

There had also been a 32% fall in serious assaults and breach of the peaces incidents were down by 23%.

Police raid
Officers arrested more than 2,000 offenders during the crackdown

Detective Chief Inspector Peter McPike said: "We are now placing a much greater emphasis on challenging offending behaviour and focusing on the perpetrators of this crime.

"What we are seeking to achieve is a reduction in the number of victims of this type of crime by focusing our efforts towards targeting repeat offenders and serial offenders and making our position absolutely clear that this type of behaviour is unacceptable and that, with our partners, we will continue to challenge those who are responsible.

"We welcome any reduction in figures and believe that our intervention tactics are having a positive impact.

He added: "We are, however, far from complacent and will continue to challenge those who commit domestic abuse and violence whilst encouraging victims, their friends and families to report any concerns they may have to us."

The festive crackdown was part of the force's domestic abuse phase of the "Break the Circle of Violence" campaign.

It is being backed by the family of 17-year-old Ayrshire schoolgirl, Michelle Stewart, who was stabbed and killed by her ex-boyfriend.



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SEE ALSO
Domestic abuse warning for fans
01 Jan 10 |  Scotland
Targeting serial domestic abusers
11 Aug 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Old Firm domestic abuse warning
07 May 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Schoolgirl killed by ex-boyfriend
13 Mar 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Old Firm backs violence campaign
26 Dec 07 |  Scotland

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