Hertfordshire Constabulary issues warning to residents act responsibly during summer period

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Hertfordshire Constabulary is warning residents to obey the law during the summer period.

A force spokesperson has issued a stark warning to people living in the policing area, during what is often a party period for certain groups of the community.

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s notice is aimed at people who might be planning big pub sessions during the European Championships or heading to a music festival.

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Detective Chief Inspector Michael Macbeth, from the Constabulary’s Safeguarding Command, said: “Now that the weather is starting to improve, the football is looming, festivals and events are in full swing, we know that people will be planning big nights out and making the most of what the night-time economy in Hertfordshire has to offer.

Hertfordshire Constabulary is warning residents to think before they act this summerHertfordshire Constabulary is warning residents to think before they act this summer
Hertfordshire Constabulary is warning residents to think before they act this summer

“In Hertfordshire, we work closely with organisers of local events and festivals, as well as local bars, pubs, and clubs to share safety advice and ensure that everyone is able to have a safe and enjoyable time.

“Sadly, we know there’s a minority of people out there who may see this time of year as an excuse to forget normal standards of behaviour, and this is simply not acceptable. Our message to everyone is to really think hard about their actions towards others and the impact they may have.

“What you may perceive to be harmless fun could actually cause a great deal of distress and you may even find yourself guilty of a criminal offence.

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“It is particularly important to remember that sex without consent is rape; this includes sex with anyone, male or female, who is incapacitated as a result of alcohol or drugs. Offenders could find themselves facing a prison sentence and being placed on the sex offenders’ register, affecting their career prospects, travel plans and future relationships.”

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Hertfordshire Constabulary still runs a Project Vigilant operation in Watford, Stevenage, St Albans, North Hertfordshire and Hertford. The scheme involves plain clothes officers, who have received special training, observing areas outside of bars, clubs and popular night time spots. They are searching for sexual predatory behaviour and have the power to make arrests.

A Hertfordshire Constabulary spokesperson added: “The types of behaviours the officers are looking for include making unwanted contact towards females, harassing or stalking behaviour, loitering without a legitimate reason, sexualised or misogynistic comments and general sexually inappropriate behaviour, to name a few.

“If you feel uncomfortable, or have concerns about someone’s behaviour whilst on a night out or at an event, please do not hesitate to report it to staff, security or to the police.

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“Becoming a victim of a sexual assault is never your fault. If you have been a victim, please don’t hesitate to report it. The constabulary has specialist officers on hand to provide advice and support throughout an investigation. It also has a number of officers who are specially trained to provide support to members of the LGBT+ community.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary also advises residents to report crimes online, or speak to its communications team via web chat, or people can call the non-emergency number 101.

Residents can also access the Herts Sexual Assault Referral Centre, which offers support to anyone in Hertfordshire who has experienced rape, sexual abuse or sexual assault.