Police highlight dangers of drinking

SUFFOLK police today warned clubbers and pub-goers to beware after it was revealed 70 per cent of stranger rapes in the county in the last three years are linked to alcohol.

SUFFOLK police today warned clubbers and pub-goers to beware after it was revealed 70 per cent of stranger rapes in the county in the last three years are linked to alcohol.

Since April 2002, the number of attacks has peaked in December - a time when thousands of people are taking part in festive celebrations.

Speaking at today's launch of a campaign to battle the problem, detective superintendent Roy Lambert, of Suffolk police, said it is important to be on guard.

He said: "We're concerned that women in particular are consuming excessive amounts of alcohol when out, and as a result are making themselves vulnerable to predatory males, who are prepared to take advantage of the victim's temporary loss of self control.


You may also want to watch:


"A person who is drunk may be deemed legally incapable of giving their consent to a sexual act. Anyone who takes advantage of someone who has drunk too much must be aware that they are potentially committing a serious offence."

Since April 1, 2002, 33 incidents have been recorded where the victim thought their drink might have been spiked with a noxious substance.

Most Read

This link has never been proved, but in most cases the victim has consumed large quantities of alcohol that could have produced similar symptoms.

Although keen to point out stranger rape remains a rare offence in the county, det supt Lambert said the rise of the "ladette" culture was a major factor behind the problem.

He said: "We realise the advice we're giving flies in the face of the hard drinking ladette culture that has pervaded our society during the last few years.

"However, we believe women are more empowered by taking responsibility for their actions, retaining their self control, dignity and self respect."

A poster and an 'Alcohol - where are your choices taking you' card, targeted at young women aged 13 to 18, have been produced to support the campaign.

The card is designed to make this group think about alcohol and the effect its misuse could have on their lives.

Around 25,000 of the cards will be distributed in clubs, pubs, schools and shopping centres.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter