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Islanders urged to keep safe on nights out

he States of Jersey Police is urging Islanders to keep safe while on a night out ahead of tonight’s easing of Covid-19 restrictions in licensed premises.

From today (Wednesday 1 July), Islanders will be able to visit pubs and bars for a seated drink service. With the return of bars and pubs returning to their normal licensing hours, Detective Superintendent Stewart Gull, Head of Crime Services, is now reminding Islanders to take sensible precautions to avoid falling victim to crime while visiting licensed premises.

In the second quarter of 2019 (April, May and June), just under half of sexual offences reported to the States of Jersey Police were linked to people on a night out. Latest figures show that during April, May and June this year, when stricter Covid-19 lockdown measures were in place, the number of reported sexual offences dropped to 22 alleged incidents – a reduction of 61% compared to the same three months last year.

With the Island’s pubs and bars expected to be busy this weekend, the States of Jersey Police is asking the licensing sector, including door staff, to look out for vulnerable people. The Street Pastors team will also be operating this weekend to help keep Islanders safe. Additional Officers from both the States of Jersey Police and Honorary Police will also be on patrol.

Detective Superintendent Gull said: “Islanders have faced a challenging three months complying to lockdown measures and while it is good news that Jersey can relax the restrictions that have been in place for licensed premises, I want to take this opportunity to remind people to stay safe while visiting our pubs and bars.

“Statistics show that the majority of sexual offences occur during a night out, so I would urge everyone to take simple precautions to avoid exposing themselves to unnecessary risks. Ensure that you stay with your friends during a night out, plan how you will get home and make sure that your mobile is well-charged.”

The fall in the number of reports of sexual offences between April and June may be attributed to the closure of pubs and bars during lockdown, but there is also concern that Islanders who have been subjected to such assaults may not have come forward.

Detective Superintendent Gull said: “We recognise that reporting sexual offences can be extremely difficult, especially if the perpetrator is known to the victim, but we have a committed team of specially trained officers who work tirelessly and sensitively to bring offenders to justice.

“We also appreciate that some victims do not want to approach the Police and I would urge these people seek support from Dewberry House, Jersey’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, which is independent to the Police.”

Laura Osmand, Co-Ordinator of Dewberry House, said: “We’re worried that the decline in visits to the centre means that some people who have been subjected to a sexual assault have not come forward to seek support.

“Sexual assault can be traumatic, and many people experience difficulties coming to terms with what has happened to them. However, there is support out there which can minimise the long-term emotional and physical consequences of sexual assault.

If you have been the victim of such an assault please reach out to our team who can provide safe, non-judgmental support 24-hours a day to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted.”

To contact Dewberry House phone 888222 or email dewberryhouse@gov.je

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