Rape and sexual offences are under the spotlight in the coming weeks as national and local police Forces look to discuss the issue.
This week across the UK police Forces have been answering questions about the subject.
In Jersey, dedicated officers will be out in St Helier over the two busiest weekends in the lead up to Christmas to talk to party-goers.
The plan being to have an open and honest conversation about rape and sexual offences, as well as an issue officers have been promoting in Jersey – consent.
Chief Inspector Alison Fossey, leading the campaign in Jersey, said: “This is a subject that people often find it difficult to talk about and get information on, which is why we started the Ask.Listen.Respect campaign to get the facts out there.
“Jersey is an incredibly safe place to live and the majority of the sexual offences we deal with come down to the issue of consent so it is incredibly important to get the messages out.”
In March the States of Jersey Police launched its Ask.Listen.Respect campaign to change attitudes towards rape and sexual assault by -
• Educating islanders on rape and sexual assault, particularly amongst young people, with emphasis on consent, through a media and poster campaign
• Spread awareness of the law
• Raise awareness that excess alcohol can increase someone’s vulnerability, but offenders who take advantage of someone’s intoxication are still committing a serious offence
• Promote the work that the police and other agencies do with victims of sexual violence
• Help victims understand the process of reporting and investigating such a crime
• Encourage people to re-think their views on rape and sexual assault
On December 13 and 14, 20 and 21, officers from the Crime Services departments will be setting up a command post in St Helier to talk to party goers about sexual offences and how to stay safe.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, the national lead for adult sexual offences, says victims must be encouraged to report incidents but also have a right to expect a more honest approach to discussions about the realities of prosecuting rape claims.
“Police will do everything they can to ensure that victims get the support they need when reporting a rape or sexual offence.
“However, we also need to be honest about the challenges that are faced in investigating and prosecuting rape, despite the bravery and tenacity of the victims who do go through the process, many rape prosecutions still don’t end in a conviction.”
“That can put people off reporting because they think it isn’t worth it. I really want to show people that victims should have the confidence to report. It triggers a full investigation into the offence, but also means that victims are able to access medical treatment and support services to help them cope with the experience.”
The States of Jersey Police have set up a dedicated website to give people information about what happens when they report and who can help. It can be found at www.asklistenrespect.co.uk.
That website has been viewed by around 3,000 different people, a total of 10,000 times.
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