Detectives have renewed their pledge to help victims and catch the perpetrators of rape and sexual offences after revealing a decrease in those crimes in Norfolk.

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Officers at Norfolk Police reiterated their determination to tackle rape and sexual offences at the start of the Association of Chief Police Officers week-long focus on sexual violence.

The Time to Stop campaign was launched in June 2012 as a joint campaign by Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies to raise awareness of the issues and law around rape and sexual assault among young women and men and to sign-post victims to the services available in both counties.

In Norfolk there were 296 rapes and 389 serious sexual offences recorded in 2011/12, reducing to 212 rapes and 355 serious sexual offences recorded in 2012/13. Since the launch of the campaign, Norfolk’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), The Harbour Centre, has seen an 86pc increase in visitors to its website.

Det Supt Jo Shiner, of Norfolk Police’s vulnerability and partnerships directorate, said the force would be stepping up the campaign during the festive season.

“When we launched the Time to Stop campaign we gave an assurance that we would continue to do all we could to not only reduce the number of people affected but also to fill those who have been assaulted with the confidence to come forward to police and that stance has not changed.

“We remain committed to ensuring victims get the support they rightly deserve as well as the justice they expect,” she said.

In the build up to the festive season both forces have teamed up with Kiss FM to send out crucial messages to party-goers about the dangers of becoming victims or offenders of such crimes as they head out for the night. In addition to the radio ads, public order officers in Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth will be speaking to women and handing out cards which actively urge them “stick together” and “look out for each other”, as well as pre-arrange safe transport home.

Visit www.norfolk.police.uk/timetostop or www.theharbourcentre.co.uk for further information.

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