Police urge stay safe when drinking

POLICE have today issued a warning to young women to remind them about the dangers of excessive drinking.The message comes after alcohol was believed to be a contributory factor in two out of three reported rapes in Ipswich since Christmas.

POLICE have today issued a warning to young women to remind them about the dangers of excessive drinking.

The message comes after alcohol was believed to be a contributory factor in two out of three reported rapes in Ipswich since Christmas.

It has since come to light that no further action has been taken by police on any of three reported cases.

Yesterday police revealed that an investigation into a rape in Murray Road, Ipswich on February 25 has been now been closed and no action is being taken against a 22-year-old man who had been arrested in connection with it.

Earlier in the year detectives closed the case of a report of a rape in Ancaster Road on December 28 and one near Lloyd's Avenue in Ipswich town centre on February 21.

Full investigations were launched into the reports, some of them taking several weeks but each time it was found that no rape or other crime had taken place.

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Detective chief inspector Mark Jepson, at Ipswich police, said: “We do not want to be kill joys but people should always stay in control of their actions.

“The investigations that we have conducted have potentially shown that alcohol has been a contributory factor, and as a result, the women have put themselves in vulnerable positions.

“They potentially live with the consequences of being in that condition, albeit no criminal activity took place. It does have an impact on them.”

However he was keen to stress that anyone who is a victim of sexual attack should contact police as quickly as possible.

He said: “I would urge people who are victims of attacks to contact us as soon as possible. I appreciate there are times of embarrassment and mixed emotions but as soon as they have the courage to report it to us, there is so much more we can do if we see the victim and the scene as early as possible.

“We investigate any complaint on the basis that it has happened. We are satisfied that no criminal activity took place in these cases but we have a duty to investigate.”

Police advise young women to follow a series of safety measures, including booking a taxi with a known firm, going home with friends and not getting into a vulnerable position by drinking too much alcohol.

DCI Jepson added: “It is also about the responsibility of the selling of alcohol in pubs. If pubs serve somebody who is drunk, we will take action if we witness it ourselves.

“One of the encouraging things is that Ipswich is a safe place to go out and enjoy yourself. All we are asking is not get yourself into an awkward or vulnerable position so you do not know what you are doing. We want to reassure the public that Ipswich is still very safe.”

Do you feel safe in the town at night? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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