Campaign to curb festive sex attacks

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AS partygoers gear up for the festive countdown police have launched a campaign designed to slash incidents of sex attacks.

Don’t let a night full of promise turn into a morning full of regret is the message to revellers from Herts Constabulary.

From this weekend until at least the New Year, officers will be carrying out extra patrols in town centres to urge people to drink in moderation.

Assistant Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, who is overseeing the campaign, said: “We’re not trying to stop anyone enjoying themselves, we just want people to take care and not put themselves at risk because they’ve drunk too much and put themselves in a position they would not normally do.

“We know that rape and sexual assaults have such devastating and long lasting consequences on people’s lives, whether they’re a victim, family member, or a perpetrator. It’s so important to stay in control of your actions and not letting a night full of promise and fun turn into a morning and even lifetime of regret.”

Simple measures can help make a great and safe night out including planning your journey home before you go out, alternating alcoholic drinks with soft ones, staying with friends and always taking a licensed taxi home.

The campaign is being led by the County Community Safety Unit – a partnership between Herts Constabulary, Herts County Council and Herts Fire and Rescue.

It will also highlight how seriously allegations of sexual assault and rape are taken by the police.

Those accused of such a crime will be arrested, and if convicted, be placed on the sex offenders register, may lose their job and will not be allowed to travel to a number of foreign countries.

David Lloyd, chairman of the Herts Police Authority said: “It is important that people feel they can enjoy a night out in Hertfordshire, and be safe. Although we want to encourage men and women to be aware of their actions, and not do anything they will regret, we also want to reassure anyone who is a victim of a sexual assault that they will be taken seriously and supported.”

There is specialist help and support got victims of sexual assault and rape through the Sexual Referral Central Centre, which can be contacted by calling 0808 178 4448 or by visiting www.herts.police.uk