Carlisle United back important campaign
Cumbria Constabulary have launched their new hard-hitting campaign which tells potential violent and sexual offenders to ‘Do The Right Thing’ or face the consequences of their actions.
The campaign aims to make it clear that violence of any kind is never acceptable or tolerated in Cumbria.
It is focused on three areas:
- Sexual assault/rape
- Alcohol fuelled violence
- Domestic violence
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson explains: “Normally at this time of year we issue safety messages to people about how to keep themselves safe – for example, don’t walk home alone or don’t leave your drink unattended. This is important advice and we do want people to take steps to keep themselves safe.
“However, the truth is many people who are victims of sexual or violent assaults know their attacker, in which case this type of advice will be unlikely to help in their situation.
“It also sets up the expectation that these people are somehow responsible for what happens if they become a victim of crime. This is absolutely not the case. No matter where a victim is, how they are acting, how intoxicated they may be, it is never the victim’s fault.
“This campaign aims to put the blame where the blame belongs – with the offender. I want to be very clear: there is absolutely no excuse for violent or abusive behaviour and it will not be tolerated in Cumbria.”
In Cumbria between August 2012 and July 2014 there were 746 rapes or ‘other sexual offences’. In 88% of the rapes, and 75% of the other sexual offences, the offender was known to the victim.
ACC Steve Johnson continues: “Many of the offenders of sexual offences are men. As a man I find this appalling and I hope other men in Cumbria will take a stand with me and say that this is not acceptable. If someone at any point says ‘no’, or is too intoxicated or afraid to fully consent, it is wrong both legally and morally to continue. Not only do I want possible offenders to ‘do the right thing’ and stop, I hope that anyone who knows about or witnesses any kind of sexual assault will ‘do the right thing’ and report it to the police.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes said: “I welcome this approach, and sincerely hope that potential offenders get the message. Offenders need to understand that they alone are responsible for their actions, and it is unacceptable to ever imply that a victim of any crime is in any way culpable. This is especially pertinent at this time of year, when in the run up to Christmas, alcohol related crime and domestic and sexual violence is historically more prevalent.”
Carlisle United Managing Director John Nixon said: "The safety and awareness campaigns are something we support every year at the football club and we are delighted to be able to do so again. We urge anyone who sees or knows something about any potential crime or harmful activity to contact the police immediately. There is never an excuse for violent or abusive behaviour and we all have a responsibility to do the right thing."
Anyone who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault, or has witnessed an assault, should call Cumbria Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always call 999.