THE parents of tragic Wigan teenager Carly Fairhurst are spearheading Greater Manchester Police’s World Cup crackdown on domestic violence.
Trevor and Sheila Fairhurst today spoke at a press conference at force headquarters as the emergency services braced themselves in an upsurge in the coming weeks.
Crime figures show a significant increase in domestic abuse during major football tournaments, particularly when England loses.
During the 2010 World Cup GMP recorded 353 incidents of domestic abuse on the day England went out following their defeat to Germany. And around 5,897 calls were made to police: a 43 per cent increase on the number of 999s over the 24-hour period when compared to the average Sunday in June.
Carly, a 19-year-old from Hindley, died at the hands of her partner Darren Pilkington in 2006. It was not a football-related incident, but her parents have since been vocal campaigners in raising awareness of domestic violence.
They have recently addressed several police training courses, telling of their personal experiences, not least of how Carly herself kept previous attacks on her by Pilkington to herself when they challenged the teenager’s relationship with him.
The most recent, at GMP’s Sedgley Park, prompted a standing ovation from more than 200 officers and the invitation to join the World Cup campaign along with other GMP partners including the North West Ambulance Service,
Mr Fairhurst said: “We consider ourselves to be Carly’s voice and a voice against domestic abuse so we were very pleased to be given this opportunity to speak out during the police’s World Cup domestic violence campaign.
“We would urge victims not to suffer in silence and would-be attackers to consider this: just because your team loses doesn’t justify your coming home and knocking seven bells out of your partner.”
Det Chief Supt Vanessa Jardine from GMP’s Public Protection Division, said: “As part of our policing plans during the games we will have specialist domestic abuse officers on duty at key times. Our officers will also give out leaflets and posters in the community to encourage those victims, friends, family members of neighbours to come forward and report to police if there is someone they suspect is a victim.”