Police launch rape prevention campaign


Sussex Police has launched a campaign to prevent rape and serious sexual offences in bars and clubs.

A spokesman said the campaign will highlight how the public and people working in the night-time industry can intervene to help people at risk of an attack.

Chief Inspector Katy Woolford, said the force was urging people to intervene when someone appears to be vulnerable or at risk.

She said: “This is the first time we have taken such an approach to raise awareness, with the first phase urging friends to stay together and look after each other, so that no one is left alone or goes off with a stranger.

“It is vital to be aware of vulnerability so that steps can be taken to guard against it. Friends and bystanders can play a key role in this, learning to recognise where their intervention may prevent a crime taking place.”

The spokesman said security staff and taxi drivers will over the summer be given information and training on what to do if they notice someone who appears to be vulnerable or subject to unwanted attention.

Posters on washrooms of pubs and clubs and at bus stops across Sussex will be put up to encourage people to be more aware.

Police will use social and traditional media to support the campaign. It will run for some months over a number of different phases.

The spokesman added Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne was funding vulnerability awareness training sessions across Sussex in May and June for some officers and staff, and for those who work in the night-time economy.

Katy Bourne said: “I am delighted to be funding this forthcoming training package to officers, staff and partners as part of the campaign. I believe that everyone should be able to enjoy a night out in the many vibrant towns in Sussex without coming to any harm. We all have a social responsibility to look after those in our society who may be more vulnerable due to various circumstances. I fully support any training that will enable effective partnership working, particularly during the night-time economy, that will help raise awareness of the signs of vulnerability, the signs of potential predatory behaviour and how to overcome the barriers that can stop some of us from intervening.”