Stroud police give advice after sexual assault incidents

POLICE have shared advice following several alleged incidents of sexual assault in Stroud recently. 

In a community alert, a Police and Community Support Officer has provided various pieces of advice. 

“I am aware there may be concern from people in the community due to the recent incident of a women sexually assaulted last week in Stroud and a male exposing himself on the cycle path last month,” said PCSO Candice Francis. 

“We will keep up patrols in the area and if you have any information regarding these incidents.

“Please inform us by calling 101 or give the information anonymously to the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or report online.”

“In the meantime I thought I’d bring attention some Gloucestershire apps and other related information.”

‘Flare’ app

‘When people are subjected to inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment the vast majority of victims fail to report the offence to police. P

erhaps because they think they will not be believed; because they are too embarrassed or simply want to forget the whole horrible experience.  This is why the ‘flare’ app was developed. Its a simple-to-use smart phone app – Flare report – to report these incidents anonymously.

The app is really easy to use and only takes a few seconds to report a range of offences, including inappropriate touching or comments, sexual harassment, being followed and spiked drinks. 

Collecting this information anonymously encourages victims to report such incidents to the police, making it easier to identify particular areas and clubs where these attacks are taking place.

Data collated from the app will be shared with our partners in order to prioritise actions that will make people feel safer.

The Constabulary can then work with the Night Time Economy in ways to reduce the risks and focus on the perpetrators – like deploying extra resources to support clubs and bars, searching people on entry, conducting covert operations to spot offenders early and deploying mobile CCTVs to public areas as a visible deterrent.

 Street lighting improvements will also be informed by this app.’

Hollie Guard

The OPCC also continue to work with the Hollie Gazzard Trust to promote their app ‘Hollie Guard’, which helps to reduce the risks to females travelling alone or meeting people for the first time. 

That app can also act as a very effective personal alarm and can trigger an alert to the police.

Violence and Intimidation Against Women and Girls (VIAWG)

This week there has also been a successful bid from the OPCC that focuses on tackling Violence and Intimidation Against Women and Girls (VIAWG) through techniques including:

  • educational theatre on the topic of sexual harassment and sexism;
  • funding for personal safety apps and alarms;
  • production of a video highlighting stalking behaviours;
  • new drug testing machines to tackle spiking;
  • additional presence in the night-time economy through Street Medics, Night Safe Officers and Street Pastors

All of the above information comes from a police neighbourhood alert. 

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