Published: June 13, 2014
Burnham police in stark World Cup drink drive warning on seafront

Football fans across the Burnham-On-Sea area have this week been urged not to drink and drive during the World Cup.

Burnham Police set up a display of a badly damaged car that was previously involved in a serious drink drive crash to illustrate what can happen after irresponsible drinking.

"Extra stop checks are being carried out after games and the next morning in the Burnham and Highbridge area as part of our district-wide operation," said PCSO Dan Wheller, pictured on the seafront on Thursday (June 12th) with PCSO Nick Mizon.

"This car, which was involved in an actual crash, shows the serious damage and injuries that can be caused by drink driving."

Since many of this year's World Cup matches are being shown late at night the police’s campaign is also warning those watching the games to make sure they don’t and drive the next morning if they have been drinking the night before since they may still be over the limit.

Figures show that reports of other offences increase too, such as domestic abuse, drink-related violence and anti-social behaviour during World Cups.

During the last tournament in 2010, reports of domestic abuse rose by more than 30 per cent following the England matches and offences involving violence or criminal damage also increased.

The local campaign aims to raise awareness of these issues to stress the importance of drinking responsibly, the risks of not doing so, and also to encourage people to report if they are the victim of domestic abuse or other offences.

Posters, pictured right, that raise awareness of domestic abuse, sexual offences, drink driving, and drink-related violence and criminal damage are being distributed to local pubs, bars and other public venues in the Burnham-On-Sea area.

The police are also running a social media campaign to encourage reporting and to try to reduce the number of offences committed during this year’s tournament.

The awareness campaign will run alongside a range of operational activities, such as additional high visibility reassurance patrols in town and city centres on match days.

Chief Inspector Jeff Foreman said: "The majority of offences that increase during the World Cup are drink-related, such as a disagreement between two pub-goers that escalates into a fight or criminal damage incidents on the way home."

"We want people to go out and enjoy the matches during the World Cup but our advice is to make sure you do so responsibly."

"You don’t want to find yourself being fined, being arrested or risking a criminal conviction after a night out that got out of hand. You may also be risking a Football Banning Order if you are arrested for an offence at a match or when watching a match, which can prevent you attending future football matches and can restrict your travel at home and abroad."

"We know that the majority of football fans who go out to watch the match act responsibly and our message is to make sure you aren’t one of the minority who end up in our cells at the end of the evening."

"If we suspect an offence has been committed, including offences like domestic abuse or drink driving, we will arrest and we will look to prosecute wherever appropriate."

"And if you are a victim of domestic abuse then please do report it, we will investigate and we can help you get the support and advice you need. We will also have extra specialist staff during and after matches to respond to calls."

To report an offence, such as domestic abuse or suspected drink driving in the Burnham area, call 999. For general reporting or enquiries call the police's non-emergency number 101. Anyone who is suspicious of someone drinking and driving can also text the word 'drunk' and full details to 81819.

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