Police tackle World Cup violence with a little help from Staffs Uni

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Staffordshire Police is aiming to show alcohol-related violence the red card during the World Cup, with a hard-hitting DVD production.

The force has produced a three-minute video about the consequences of  drinking too much, being launched today as part of a YouTube and Facebook viral marketing campaign.

The gritty and thought-provoking film shows three dramatised accounts of the violent effects of alcohol: an incident of domestic violence; a violent assault in a pub, and a road traffic collision.

Produced by video company, Ember Regis, students and staff from Staffordshire University have assisted in making the film by taking on acting and some technical roles. The university also made its forensic crime scene house in Stoke-on-Trent available for use as a location along with one of its bars.

Street sequences were filmed in Tamworth with help from the Neighbourhood Policing Team. The opening images of football supporters were shot at Wembley stadium before the recent England versus Mexico World Cup warm-up match.

The video can be viewed at www.youtube.com/staffordshirepolice

Alcohol is a significant contributor to violence. It played a part in more than 40 per cent of crimes involving violence across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in the 12 months to April 2010. The force has been working closely with local councils, licensees and other agencies to tackle alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour (ASB) through Operation Safer Nights. This will continue throughout the World Cup and beyond.

On match days high visibility patrols will be out and about to offer reassurance to revellers and residents. There will be sufficient officers on duty to deal with any problems, should they arise.

Young men aged between 18 and 32 whose Facebook profiles state they live in the force area and are interested in football and drinking are being targeted during the campaign.

ACC Jane Sawyers, force lead on alcohol-related violence, says the force’s main aim is to ensure the tournament passes off without incident. “We want people to have a safe and enjoyable World Cup. Our aim is to make sure supporters on nights out in our town centres have a safe and enjoyable evening. Violent crime with injury where the offender was under the influence of drink fell by more than five per cent last year* so we’d like to see that trend continue. We’re hoping to maintain a good-natured atmosphere in our town centres.

“The approach we’re adopting is fair, friendly but firm,” she explained. “If people break the law, we will arrest and prosecute.

“We have produced the DVD to make people think about the consequences of alcohol-related violence. We chose to include a scene about domestic violence as research has shown that there is an increase in this type of incident immediately before and after the national team plays. Domestic abuse is something we take very seriously and we do our best to prosecute offenders. We will also be visiting and monitoring repeat victims and offenders of this type of crime during the tournament and we will continue to work closely with partners and victims to encourage them to come forward.

“We had a lot of help in making the video from staff and students at Staffordshire University and we’re very grateful for their help.

“Our viral marketing campaign aims to engage with people who we may not normally reach through traditional press and media. When they log on to Facebook, they’ll be invited to view the DVD, called ‘England Till I Die’. Hopefully, it will make them think twice about the amount of alcohol they drink during the tournament.

 “Our DVD shows them the possible consequences of excessive alcohol consumption. We want them to drink sensibly so they, and the people around them, stay safe.”

Contact

Judy O'Brien
University Communications Manager
Q19
2 Winton Square
Stoke
St4 2DE
t: +44 (0)1782 294345
e: j.l.o'brien@staffs.ac.uk