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Police launch campaign to protect festive revellers
STAY safe while out celebrating the festive season – police are urging revellers.
As part of their Countdown to Christmas Campaign, Dorset Police has produced posters and flyers to give practical advice to party goers to reduce the chances of them becoming a victim of sexual offences.
They will be run in conjunction with a social media campaign using the Twitter hashtag #DPXmasCountdown.
The posters have been distributed to clubs and bars and feature stick people on a night out and messages to help people stay safe.
Detective Superintendent Andy Clowser said: “We want everyone to enjoy celebrating the festive season, but I urge people to take simple steps to help stay safe on a night out.
“If you’re out celebrating, make sure you stay in your group of friends and look after and look out for each other – in particular never leave your intoxicated friends alone.
“Always make sure you know how you’re getting home at the end of the night – keep money aside for a licensed taxi or bus.
“Keep your mobile charged and never walk home alone.”
He added: “Unfortunately, we know there are individuals who will take advantage of people who get so intoxicated that they become vulnerable.
“As a result, it is so important that people who go out drinking make sure they don’t drink to the extent that they become vulnerable and put themselves at risk.”
Officers are advising people to think about their alcohol intake, stay in groups and drink soft drinks and water throughout the night, never leave drinks unattended and keep valuables like mobile phones safe.
Detective Superintendent Clowser said: “Stranger rapes are extremely rare in Dorset. In most allegations of rape, the victim knows their attacker.
“Women in particular need to be aware when they are on a night out that alcohol can affect their decision making, leading to situations in which they become vulnerable.
“Even one of these crimes is too many and we want to ensure that we work with the public to prevent as many as possible.”
He added: “If a person drinks to excess and is left unable to give consent, but someone decides to have sex with them, then this is rape.
“I am telling people to consider the consequences of their actions.
“It is important for people to understand what rape is – and that we will take the strongest action if they cross the line.”
He urged people to come forward if they had been a victim of rape but not reported it, as Dorset Police has specially trained officers to support victims and investigate these types of offences.
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