Abuse Patrols During Rugby Games
Police are launching patrols in the south Wales valleys during the Rugby World Cup to allow them to respond quickly to domestic violence.
Specialist officers will be in vehicles on match days in Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly county.
Wales face Canada in the first of the pool games on Sunday and will go on to meet Australia, Japan and Fiji.
South Wales Police said a similar scheme during the Six Nations tournament had proved a success.
Det Insp Bill Davies, who is co-ordinating the initiative, said the officers would be on hand to offer extra support to colleagues dealing with incidents of domestic abuse.
He said the previous campaign had shown that “early intervention is key”.
He said: “On match days domestic violence incidents peaked earlier in the day, around 8pm, whilst on non-match days such incidents heightened around 11pm – midnight.
“Such initiatives have proven successful when run previously, at specific times of the year, when it’s anticipated there will be an increase in factors that can sometimes lead to domestic abuse, such as alcohol and debt.”
Police say domestic abuse peaks at about 8pm on rugby match days
The assembly-funded Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline said one in four women in Wales would be a victim of domestic abuse by their partner or ex-partner at some time in their life.
The helpline’s Tracey Owens said: “Although our calls do not rise significantly on the days when there are big sporting events, this does not mean that domestic abuse incidents are not on the increase during this time, when there is a likelihood of increased alcohol consumption.
“Although I would point out that alcohol is by no means an excuse for domestic abuse, if there are already issues within a domestic relationship then they can be exacerbated with alcohol.”
The helpline, aimed at men, women or children suffering domestic abuse, was launched in 2004.
It is now a 24-hour operation and received 13,500 calls in the 12 months to April this year.
The Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline is on 0808 80 10 800.