Police officers will be out raising awareness of sexual consent from this weekend.
Neighbourhood policing teams throughout the county will be talking to the greater numbers of people out and about in town centres in order to press home the message that sex without consent is rape.
They will be handing out branded mints, lip balms and water bottles.
The work is part of Herts Police’s Operation Advisory campaign, which aims to educate people about what sexual assault is and so prevent them occurring both in the party season and throughout the year.
For the campaign, police will also promote the innovative ‘Simple As Tea’ message that has proved a hit on social media for explaining what consent means in an engaging and thought-provoking way. Posters based on the tea analogy will be posted at venues around the county.
And the force will again be working with licencing officers to raise awareness among door staff, taxi companies and licensees to raise awareness of the vulnerability among people who have had too much to drink.
Detective Sergeant Alex Tyrrell said: “While most people understand the basic principle of consent, there are still some people who seem not to be clear about this.
“A person only consents to sex if they agree by choice and have the capacity to make that choice. Someone who is very drunk might not be able to make that choice, or if they are unconscious then they cannot consent at all. If someone first agrees to sex but then later changes their mind and decides they do not want that, then this person has not consented to sex.
“The law is clear that without consent, sex is rape. Our officers will be raising awareness among party-goers from this weekend and throughout December.”
You can also visit the Herts Sunflower website section on sexual assaults: http://www.hertssunflower.org/victims-3/what-if-i-have-been-raped-or-sexually-abused
For independent support and advice visit 01707 276 512 www.hertsrapecrisis.org.uk or the Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre (Watford) 01923 241 600.