West Yorkshire Police apologises after tweet suggests 'too much beer and excitement' during football matches leads to domestic abuse
A police force faced an onslaught of criticism following a tweet about domestic abuse ahead of the Euro Finals on Sunday.
West Yorkshire Police has issued an apology after a tweet - which has since been deleted - suggested "too much beer and excitement" can lead to domestic abuse.
Posting ahead of Sunday evening's football match, the force wrote: "Excited for England's #Euro2020 final appearance later today?
"A mix of too much beer and the excitement of the football can lead to domestic abuse," adding "help is available for everyone".
The post drew criticism from many, including anti-domestic abuse campaigner David Challen whose mother, Sally Challen, saw her conviction for killing her husband David Challen quashed in 2019 after a court heard he had subjected her to years of abuse.
Mr Challen wrote: "Alcohol and ‘excitement’ do not lead to domestic abuse.
"Committing abuse is an avoidable decision made by a perpetrator, removed of all other factors."
Calls to police relating to domestic abuse rose by an average of 38 per cent following major football matches when a national team loses, and by 29 per cent in a national victory, according to a 2014 study by academics at Lancaster University looking at data from forces in the North West.
West Yorkshire Police issued an apology on Monday, saying it accepted that this time it "got the tone wrong".
"We regret any offence caused by a recent message about domestic abuse," the force said.
"Our aim was to raise awareness of this awful and all too common crime, but we heard what you said and accept that this time, we got the tone of the message wrong.
"So let’s be really clear, there is absolutely no excuse for domestic abuse. Victims will always have the full support they deserve and perpetrators will be pursued, prosecuted and put before the courts."
Anybody affected by domestic abuse can contact Refuge on 0808 2000 247 or police on 101. In emergencies, call 999 followed by '55' if you are unable to speak.