Warning to young women at nightspots
Date: 20/08/2012. Story submitted by: nnn
Young women on a night out in the county's nightspots will be targeted by police this weekend in a bid to increase awareness of personal safety.
Officers in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Newmarket will be speaking to young women and handing out cards which actively urge them 'stick together' and 'look out for each other', as well as pre-arrange safe transport home.
The initiative, which falls under the umbrella of Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies' Time to Stop anti-rape campaign, is intended to reinforce messages currently being delivered to young women and men in a series of radio ads on KissFM.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Cutler said: ""Our towns are great places for people to go out and enjoy themselves and, while Norfolk generally is a very safe place, we're reminding young women in particular to stick with their friends, look out for one another and not to leave anyone behind."
"While this forms part of our on-going campaign, it's intended to address the broader issues of personal safety and to help raise awareness that there are strategies that can help increase your safety and security on a night out."
The safety message to women will be reinforced by the ad campaign and posters targeting young men, placed in key night-spot locations, with the message 'Has she consented? Time to realise no means no'.
DCI Cutler added: "Rape is rape and there are no excuses. Men need to understand that if a woman says no or is incapable of consenting, for instance through drink or drugs, they are committing a criminal offence."
The campaign aims to coincide with a time of year when police traditionally sees an increase in reports of rape and serious sexual assaults - in the majority of cases the victim knows or has just met the offender. Reports of serious sexual offences increase during the summer months, and during warmer weather - a time when there are increased opportunities for people to socialise.
In Suffolk in 2011, the urban centres of Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds saw the highest percentage of reported rape offences.
Suffolk's night-time economy is being used to raise awareness among women aged 18 to 24 who, statistically, are at highest risk of becoming a victim of rape or serious sexual assault; and men aged 18 to 24 who form the highest percentage of offenders.
The safety cards contain top tips and information for contacting police and The Fern's, Suffolk's Sexual Assault Referral Centre as well as a Quick Response (QR) code linking to our short online film 'Look What You Did'.
Further information about rape and sexual violence and details of local services available for victims can be found at www.suffolk.police.uk
Address: Tavern Street Ipswich IP1 3AD
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