Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.
Published at 16:43 on 12 July 2015
Police Scotland's Lanarkshire Division launched the campaign earlier this month.
POLICE Scotland’s Lanarkshire division has a hard hitting message on rape: ‘No’ means no. At least, that was the message was the Lanarkshire division of Scotland’s national force launched a rape prevention campaign.
Officers throughout Lanarkshire launched the prevention campaign after the earlier launch of the national ‘We Can Stop It’ rape prevention campaign.
The Lanarkshire campaign was launched earlier this month by officers delivering a series of inputs to an invited audience at an event on Motherwell Civic Centre.
Officers from Safer Communities and Violence reduction joined up with Chief Inspector Graham Goulden of the national Violence Reduction Unit to deliver the “Who Are You” training session.
Representatives from key organisations including North Lanarkshire Community Learning and Development, NHS Health improvement in Lanarkshire, Sodexo – Addiewell Prison managers, Social Work and Diversity officers from North and South Lanarkshire and RegenFX Youth Trust was in attendance at the event.
“The input promotes good citizenship, and encourages bystanders to be more involved in the prevention of sexual crime,” Detective Chief Inspector Paul Livingston, of Lanarkshire CID, said.
The Police Scotland national rape prevention campaign, “We Can Stop It”, is a perpetrator based approach, challenging behaviours and attitudes towards consent and rape.
The campaign stresses that bystanders have a key role to play in prevention, and that licensed premise staff are key also, with the training providing items on when to recognise an intervention can be staged to prevent someone becoming a victim of a sexual assault.
Commenting, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Livingston, of Lanarkshire CID, said: “The main focus of our campaign is the message that sex without consent is rape.
It is a very clear message to perpetrators, forcing them to look at their own behaviour and attitudes. Sexual crime is underreported, and we encourage people to come forward to report rape.
“The numbers reported to Lanarkshire Division have increased and I believe this is because victims are more confident to report such a crime.
He added: "We work very closely with a number of partner agencies including Rape Crisis and Women’s Aid, to ensure victims are provided with the best support available to them.
“We have a team of specialist officers working within Lanarkshire Division to deal with sexual crime, however, we want to prevent that type of crime happening in the first place.
“One way in which we can ensure that happens is by engaging with our partners in the licensed trade, in community groups, in youth groups, to raise awareness of how we can all have a part to play in preventing sexual crime.
“Don’t be a bystander, if you see a vulnerable person who could be at risk of being a victim of sexual or any crime, please step forward and intervene. You could have the power to stop them from becoming a victim.”
Chief Inspector Graham Goulden, of the national Violence Reduction Unit added: "It's great to see Police Scotland and other organisations taking this training forward. After the training those attending will have the skills to be able to deliver a short input to anyone working in the night time economy raising awareness of rape and sexual assault as well as giving them some skills to intervene and prevent incidents from happening.
“As bystanders we all have the potential to prevent any incident from escalating. By doing nothing we are telling offenders its ok and we tell victims they are on their own.
“This training is essential if we are to tackle the climate where these crimes take place."
Police Scotland has published a special “Who Are You” campaign video on Youtube, with the video giving a very clear picture of how people can be good bystanders and help to stop rape. For further information about the We Can Stop It campaign, go to the website at: www.wecanstopit.co.uk.
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