DETECTIVES investigating sexual crimes in South Derbyshire have launched a campaign to reduce the risk of people becoming victims this Christmas.
The campaign, which runs until December 31, is being led by Operation Diamond detectives — a team of officers set up to tackle serious sexual and physical assaults in Derby, South Derbyshire and Erewash.
It is being launched ahead of the Christmas and New Year party season, when there is an increase in people drinking in towns and cities.
People are being urged to take steps to make sure they get home safely and not to leave themselves vulnerable on a night out.
Police hope the campaign will reduce incidents of sexual assault — there were 34 crimes of this kind last December.
The campaign is being supported by Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, which has agreed to circulate safety information which employers can share with their staff.
Pub licensees and bar staff will also be encouraged to assess customers and refuse to serve them if they believe they have already consumed too much alcohol.
Police officers who patrol at night will approach vulnerable, lone women and ensure they get home safely.
Detective Constable Chantelle Hunt, from Operation Diamond, said: “We want people to enjoy themselves, but also be careful not to drop their guard and leave themselves vulnerable.
“I would ask everyone to plan their night out in advance. Make sure you’re going out with people you know and trust and decide how you’re going to get home safely at the end of the evening. Check bus times before you leave home or book a taxi in advance.”