14 June 2012
Time to stop...
That is the message from police as a joint campaign to prevent
rape and serious sexual offences is launched across Norfolk and
The campaign, which is being supported by victims of rape, aims
to raise awareness of rape and sexual violence in Norfolk and
Suffolk, particularly among young women and men aged 17 to 24.
In line with national trends, reported serious sexual offences
in Norfolk and Suffolk have shown year on year increases since 2009
- with rape accounting for 40% of all cases.
And while confidence in reporting has risen in recent years,
rape remains a hugely under-reported crime and officers are keen
for victims to not only report rape, but to do so as early as
The ‘Time to Stop’ campaign was launched today at Norwich
bar Vodka Revolution, in the heart of the city’s clubland – where
police in both counties will concentrate their efforts to raise
awareness over the coming months.
It was supported with the release of a new online film,
available on Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies’ YouTube channels,
which tells the story of three victims and how they were supported
by specialist care provided by the independent Sexual Assault
Referral Centres (SARCs*).
Assistant Chief Constable Charlie Hall, who leads Protective
Services in Norfolk and Suffolk, said: “Reducing incidents of
serious sexual violence and bringing offenders to justice are
priority issues for police in both Norfolk and Suffolk.
“Rape remains a hugely under-reported crime. In launching this
campaign, we aim to not only reduce the number of people affected
but also to fill those who have been assaulted with the confidence
to come forward to police, or to other specialist services
“The campaign will build upon the work already undertaken by
police and partner agencies to improve the response and service to
victims of rape and sexual violence in Norfolk and Suffolk.”
While sexual violence can affect people from all backgrounds, it
is young women aged 17 - 24 who figures show are at most risk in
Norfolk and Suffolk. Equally young men aged 17-24 are the highest
offender group. In 2011 in both counties, in the majority of rape
cases, the victim knew the offender and more often than not,
incidents occurred at either the victim's or offender's home.
As well as raising awareness of rape and sexual violence the
campaign also aims to:
- Educate prospective victims and their friends about personal
- Educate prospective offenders on the law and consequences of
committing acts of sexual violence.
- Raise awareness of the local services available to support
- Increase confidence among victims in reporting to police and
Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs).
Det Chief Inspector David Cutlerwho leads
specialist police services for victims of sexual violence, said:
“Our message to young women is to be aware of your personal safety
because rapists are, more often than not, a wolf in sheep’s
“Too often our officers will see young women who are the worse
for wear and who have either wandered off or been abandoned by
their friends on a night out. This can make them incredibly
“Look after yourself and your friends when you are out, watch
your drinks and always organise safe transport home.
“However, if you have been assaulted know the police and SARCs
are here round-the-clock to take your call and to help.”
Lynn Ambrose, manager of the Suffolk SARC The Ferns, said: “Rape
is a subject that provokes strong emotions and opinions and
misconceptions about rape are widespread. This is why it is really
important for people to know about our service and what we do at
the SARC to support any person who has experienced rape or serious
sexual assault at any stage in their lives.
“Figures show that only around 11% of victims will report to
police which means 89% of people never report and these are the
ones we, at the SARC, need to reach.
“Victims can contact us directly and will receive the very same
service they would if they chose to report to the police. We don't
put any pressure on them to report. We can securely store evidence
gained and if they decide to report at a later date we will be able
to help and support this process.”
Linda Hillman, Public Health Consultant for NHS Norfolk and
Waveney, added: "We want to ensure women who unfortunately are in
circumstances where they need the support of the SARC have access
to timely non-judgemental, good quality healthcare and have the
medical checks they need. The services at SARC link closely to
mainstream healthcare, so if, for example, the person feels worried
they may have a sexually transmitted infection, professional care
and testing will be offered.
"The healthcare offered will not interfere with the involvement
by the police - healthcare is healthcare, and completely
confidential, whether the person wants to tell the police or
The Time to Stop campaign will run throughout the summer,
Christmas, the New Year period and beyond. During this time adverts
will be played on local radio stations, posters will be put up in
bars and nightclubs and officers from both Constabularies’
night-time economy teams will distribute postcards to partygoers
highlighting key facts about rape and personal safety.