Lincolnshire Police have issued a message of safety to women in the county after a recent spate of “devastating” sexual assaults, saying the crime “is never the result of the behaviour of the victim”.
In the past two weeks, police have issued appeals for evidence in three sexual assaults in Lincolnshire, one in Sleaford, another at Boston Market Place and one outside the Co-op funeral home on Tritton Road in Lincoln.
A protest in Sleaford will take place on Saturday night, starting at the Mareham Pastures, where a girl in her 20s was sexually assaulted on Monday, July 12.
The protest is happening as women “no longer feel safe to walk alone” at night, something which is “simply not okay”, says organiser of Reclaim The Night – Sleaford, Jade Hope.
There have not yet been any arrests for the incidents in Sleaford, Boston or Lincoln, but police are assuring women in Lincolnshire they are doing all they can to keep the streets safe.
Detective Chief Supt Andy Cox said: “Sexual assault is a devastating crime. If you have been affected, please come to us and trust us to do our job with the upmost sensitivity.
“We have dedicated and specially trained officers to help you. We understand not everyone wants to report to us but regardless of your choice, there is help and support available that we want you to know about.
“We will not tell women and girls not to walk alone. We will not tell women and girls that they should change their behaviour. Sexual assault is never the result of the behaviour of the victim. It is, 100%, always the fault of the perpetrator.”
This particular stance from Lincolnshire Police differs from the alleged advice given by the Met Police following the disappearance of Sarah Everard, where local women say they were told to “not go out alone”.
Mr Cox continued: “We will raise awareness of the support available. Spring Lodge is the Lincolnshire Sexual Assault Referral Clinic. They have incredible people doing difficult and vital work. They are independent of the police and available whether or not you want to talk to us.
“We would also like to reiterate our appeals for information. If you have any concerns, suspicions, or information to help with these investigations, please call us.”
To contact police about any of the three sexual assaults, call 101 or email [email protected] and use the following incident numbers as reference.
- Sleaford, Mareham Pastures – Incident 66 of July 12
- Boston, Market Place – Incident 7 of July 18
- Lincoln, Tritton Road – Incident reference 21000380794