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Extra police patrols as bars reopen

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EXTRA officers from the States and honorary police are due to be on duty in town this weekend following the reopening of pubs and bars.

Det Supt Stewart Gull. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (28739475)

And the States police has called for Islanders heading out for a drink this weekend to stay safe and to be vigilant against a potential rise in the number of sexual offences being committed.

Pubs were closed in Jersey in March, with some able to reopen in May when alcohol was only allowed to be sold as part of an al-fresco meal service.

However, from yesterday, with the reduction of social distancing from two metres to one metre, bars were able to reinstate regular opening hours and offer a drinks-only service to seated customers. Nightclubs remain closed.

According to the States police, during April, May and June this year – when strict lockdown measures were in place – the number of alleged sexual offences dropped to 22 – a 61% reduction on the same three-month period last year.

‘We recognise that reporting sexual offences can be extremely difficult, especially if the perpetrator is known to the victim, but we have a committed team of specially trained officers who work tirelessly and sensitively to bring offenders to justice,’ Detective Superintendent Stewart Gull said.

‘We also appreciate that some victims do not want to approach the police and I would urge these people to seek support from Dewberry House, Jersey’s sexual assault referral Centre, which is independent to the police.’

Meanwhile, the officer also called on Islanders to look out for their friends and to take basic precautions to ensure they stayed safe.

‘Islanders have faced a challenging three months complying with lockdown measures and, while it is good news that Jersey can relax the restrictions that have been in place for licensed premises, I want to take this opportunity to remind people to stay safe while visiting our pubs and bars,’ Det Supt Gull said.

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‘Statistics show that the majority of sexual offences occur during a night out, so I would urge everyone to take simple precautions to avoid exposing themselves to unnecessary risks.

‘Ensure that you stay with your friends during a night out, plan how you will get home and make sure that your mobile is well-charged.’

Dewberry House can be contacted 24 hours a day by phoning 888222 or emailing dewberryhouse@gov.je.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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