Christmas party sexual assault warning

PUBLISHED: 10:21 12 December 2014 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 December 2014

Police

Police

Archant

Revellers have been warned ahead of the Christmas and New Year party season that “anyone can become the victim of a sexual assault”.

Sexual assault advice and support

Anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault can get advice and support by calling the Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0808 178 4448 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) or visit www.hertssunflower.org
You don’t have to involve police.

With the festive party season about to get into full swing, Herts police is sending out the strong message through Operation Advisory, which aims to prevent people from becoming victims of a sexual assault on a night out.

The campaign is being run over weekends until January 7, and includes officers across the county handing out lip balms and bottles of water displaying the message and sexual assault helpline number – 0808 178 4448.

Detective Inspector Dee Perkins, from the sexual offences investigation team at Herts Constabulary, said: “We want people to go out and have a good time in the pub and club venues across the county and to enjoy the festive period.

“However, we also want people to get home safely and to take responsibility for themselves and their friends.

“Sexual assault can happen to anyone, by drinking too much you are making yourself vulnerable.

“Local officers will be working alongside the bar and club managers, security teams, door supervisors, bar staff, taxi marshalls and street pastors – all helping to raise awareness and to intervene if someone looks vulnerable.”

The law states you are responsible for getting clear consent before sexual activity – if you don’t have consent, you are committing a serious offence.

You could go to prison and would be listed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Kate Moore, programme manager for alcohol and anti-social behaviour at the County Community Safety Unit, said: “We are taking a proactive stance that we hope will raise awareness of this despicable crime which can have devastating consequences for victims.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the licensees in the pubs and clubs and other partners who are fully supportive of the campaign.”

Herts Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “All the laws that apply during the rest of the year still apply in December and sex without consent is always rape.

“I would urge people to enjoy the festive fun but make sure it is a happy and safe season for everyone.”


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