DOMESTIC abuse can spike by 27 percent when England play in major tournaments, West Mercia Police has warned.

In response, a new scheme has been rolled out in Herefordshire ahead of the FIFA World Cup that gives police increased powers to protect victims.

Jan Frances, of Women’s Aid, said: "Like other events where there is heightened emotion, stress and possible disappointment, the World Cup is a time when we may expect a rise in domestic abuse.”

The Domestic Violence Protection Order will ban perpetrators who kick off at home from contact with the victim for up to 28 days, and ensure the case is heard in the Magistrates Court within 48 hours.

Detective Superintendant Stephen Cullen said: "We are sending the clear message to perpetrators of domestic abuse that if you ‘kick off at home’ you can expect to face a 28 day ban.

“When England play, heightened emotions and alcohol among the population as a whole are all contributory factors.

"We are not saying that football fans are more likely to perpetrate domestic abuse, but that football fans make up a wide cross-section of society, and domestic abuse happens throughout all levels of society."

The police will also use analytical techniques to identify potential repeat offenders – so officers can react sooner ¬ – and employ extra resources in the day after big matches, added Det Supt Cullen.

That will include a team dedicated to investigating incidents of domestic abuse, so cases can be fast-tracked.

For help and advice please visit or call the Women’s Aid 24 hour helpline on 0800 783 1359.