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Police Launches Campaign To Increase Awareness of Sexual Offences

Published on: 25 Nov, 2013
Updated on: 23 Nov, 2013

Surrey Police is today (Monday, November 25) launching a campaign to raise awareness of rape and sexual offences and encouraging victims to come forward.

As part of White Ribbon Day, the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women, Surrey Police is reminding the public that dedicated teams of officers are on hand to support victims and thoroughly investigate offences.

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As well as the Sexual Offences Investigation Team (SOIT), a specialist team of officers and staff who deal with reports of rape and other sexual offences, Surrey Police works closely with the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Cobham to ensure victims receive appropriate help, support and personal safety advice.

The number of reported rapes and sexual offences traditionally rises over the Christmas and New Year period; a total 84 offences were reported across the county between December 2012 and January 2013.

Surrey Police is urging people to take simple precautions to improve their personal safety over the festive season.

Detective Chief Inspector Adam Colwood said: “The campaign is about giving victims the confidence to report offences in the knowledge that they will be taken seriously and we will do everything possible to investigate.

“Forcing someone to have sex or perform sexual acts is a crime and if you say no, it is rape. Unfortunately rape and sexual offences do take place in Surrey and impact on people from different social groups, cultures and backgrounds.

“We also recognise that the number of offences is likely to be higher than the reported figures as some victims are still not reporting offences. It is vital that victims do come forward, the sooner an offence is reported, the more likely it is that a conviction will happen.

“The majority of sexual offences reported to us are committed by people known to the victims. I would like to make it clear that anyone who thinks that social occasions such as Christmas parties provide an excuse for inappropriate sexual advances and behaviour should be aware that this is not acceptable and we will take strong action.

“We have specially trained officers and staff who are here to investigate sexual offences and support victims to ensure we get the best evidence from them.

Surrey Police Badge“Surrey Police treats all allegations of rape and sexual assault seriously. Over recent years we have invested significantly in putting victims, who have often been through traumatic experiences, at the centre of the investigative process. We will always treat the welfare of victim’s as paramount and provide full support through the investigation and any subsequent prosecution.

“We continue to urge anyone who feels they have been a victim of a sexual offence to report it to police and we will do everything possible to ensure offenders are brought to justice.”

If you feel you have been a victim of a sexual offence you can report it by calling Surrey Police on 101 or online by visiting http://www.surrey.police.uk/.

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