County News: Sussex Police ask for feedback over sexual assault poster

Sussex Police poster SUS-150912-130938001

Sussex Police poster SUS-150912-130938001

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Sussex Police are inviting public views on a new draft set of three posters aimed at preventing rape – months after they were forced to scrap a poster when it was criticised for ‘victim-blaming’.

The posters are aimed at Sussex people going out to pubs and clubs in Brighton and Hove.

Police research showed that in Brighton, during the 12 months to the end of March 2015, 247 recorded rapes or other serious sexual offences took place during the evening or night, mostly in the city centre.

The messaging in the posters tackles improper perceptions of sexual consent; encourages friends to watch out for each other; and calls for people to report any suspicious behaviour to police – said a police spokesperson.

When the original poster was scrapped back in April, after people complained that it blamed the victim rather than the attacker, Detective Superintendent Paul Furnell said, “The posters were well-intentioned with the sole aim of preventing people becoming victims of crime.

“Sussex Police is determined to continue to raise awareness of this issue and, with the support of partners, target those who seek to exploit and abuse vulnerable people.

“Together we are committed to tackling all violence against women, girls, men and boys.”

This week, he said about the new poster ideas, “The poster concepts and design have already taken into account the views so far of our many partners, from local authorities to voluntary agencies, but this is always an important and sensitive issue and we think the wider public will have some constructive ideas too.

“Let us know what you think.”

You can see the posters via facebook.com/sussexpoliceforce and the consultation process is open from today, Wednesday (9 December) to 12noon on Friday (11 December).

Fabia Bates, director of Survivors Network, said, “It’s good to see Sussex Police putting the issue of consent front and centre, while also encouraging debate about how we can all work to prevent sexual violence.”

Once all views are assembled, the police will be consulting again with partners before deciding on the final versions, which are expected to be available on social media and in pubs and clubs in the city early next year.

If you have been sexually assaulted, or know someone who has, you can contact the police at any time via 999 in an emergency, or via 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, and arranging to talk in confidence to specially trained detectives.

If you are looking for further help or support go to - www.safespacesussex.org.uk

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