In a bid to raise further awareness of our approach to tackling sexual offences in Essex, we have taken our consent campaign on the road.
Our animations and message 'NO, IT'S NOT ON' have been displayed across digital vans which have travelled across the county this weekend, stopping at many High Street locations and travel hubs, so that we can further engage with the public around this important issue.
The campaign, supported by the Southend and Thurrock Domestic Abuse board (SETDAB) aims to raise awareness around the night time economy in the run up to Christmas and asks people to consider their own actions and behaviours as we continue to reduce sexual offences across the county.
In the 12 months to May 2023, we were ranked 1st out of 43 forces across the UK for our sexual offences conviction rate. In the same period our officers solved 576 sexual offences – an increase of 130 on the year before and we recorded 288 fewer cases involving rape over the past 12 months and 280 fewer sexual offences.
Victims are at the heart of what we do
Head of our Crime and Public Protection Unit, Detective Superintendent, Neil Pudney, said:
“We are pleased to have been able to reduce these offences, but we are not complacent and finding new ways of supporting victims remains at the heart of everything we do. “We are proud of our conviction rate, but we know not every victim seeks a court outcome. Sometimes people need to be heard and we would urge anyone who has been the victim of rape or sexual abuse to seek support. If this campaign urges just one person to come forward then it will have been a success.”
Help survivors and re-educate perpetrators
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said:
“Here in Essex, we condemn male violence, abuse, sexual abuse and misogyny against women and girls in any form and these digital van displays underline our commitment. “We will continue working hard to help survivors and re-educate perpetrators to understand consent in relationships. We will also support Essex Police to robustly target offenders and develop strong investigations that lead to successful prosecutions.”
Working with our partners
Our officers were also on hand, working alongside our partners at Synergy to offer advice and make people aware of the support that is available for victims of sexual abuse.
The Change Project (TCP) who work with people who want to change their behaviour, were also there to help spread the message further.
The right to say no
Anyone has the right to say no, change their mind or withdraw consent at any time.
If you have been subjected to any form of sexual abuse, you can report it through our digital 101 service. For advice and guidance you can also contact Synergy Essex.