Lip balms and water bottles displaying sex assault prevention advice will be given to revellers

Sexual assault campaign. Library image.
Sexual assault campaign. Library image.

Lip balms and water bottles with messages about sexual assault are being given out to revellers in a bid to prevent attacks.

The crime-fighting marketing exercise, starting this weekend as the festive party season gets underway, hopes to stop people from becoming victims and sends out a strong message to potential offenders about the consequences of committing sexual assault.

The law states that you are responsible for getting clear consent before sexual activity - those that don’t are committing an offence and could go to prison and be listed on the Sex Offenders Register.

The lip balms and water bottles also display the sexual assault helpline number - 0808 178 4448.

Det Insp Dee Perkins said: “We want people to go out and have a good time in the pub and club venues across the county and to enjoy the festive period - however, we also want people to get home safely and to take responsibility for themselves and their friends. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, by drinking too much you are making yourself vulnerable.

“Local officers will be working alongside the bar and club managers, security teams, door supervisors, bar staff, taxi marshals and street pastors – all helping to raise awareness and to intervene if someone looks vulnerable.”

The campaign follows on from the success of Operation Codetta, which was piloted in Watford during the summer and raised awareness that anyone can become the victim of sexual assault.

Police officers, bar and club managers, security teams, door supervisors, bar staff, taxi marshals and street pastors are all taking part in helping to raise awareness around the campaign.

Kate Moore, programme manager for alcohol and anti–social behaviour at the County Community Safety unit, said: “We are taking a proactive stance that we hope will raise awareness of this despicable crime which can have devastating consequences for victims.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the licensees in the pubs and clubs and other partners who are fully supportive of the campaign.”

Anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault can get advice and support by calling the Sexual Assault Referral Centre 0808 178 4448 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday or visit www.hertssunflower.org.