(LONDON: BTP Online Sexual Rape & Assault Report: Four forces are piloting a new service to report sexual assault online – with the option to report anonymously #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.10: The new online Rape and Sexual Assault reporting service is now live on the websites of British Transport Police, Merseyside Police, Dyfed Powys Police and Leicestershire Police.

#AceDailyNews says that a ‘Sexual Offences Reporting Tool’ is being piloted by four police forces that was created by the National Police Chief’s Council’s (NPCC) Digital Public Contact Programme (DPC) and launched on Tuesday 30 November: The pilot will run for six weeks.

BTP’s anonymous reporting site can be found here.

People wishing to report sexual offences have until now been directed to phone police forces, text 61016 in the case of British Transport Police, or dial 999 in an emergency.

If they do not require immediate police assistance, people – regardless of age or if they want to report the crime – will be directed online via their local force website.

They will find advice and details of charities and other organisations that can help. The forces will ask, if the person is willing, for details of what has happened. There is an option to report the offence anonymously.

If reported anonymously, the police will only contact that person if there is believed to be an immediate threat to their life.

Det Ch Insp Sarah White from British Transport Police said:

” We know from extensive research that there are a number of reasons why survivors and witnesses are not comfortable in reporting sexual offences to the police.

“One of the common factors remains the unwillingness to provide personal details. We understand this and have been working to look at how we can invite greater reporting, which can help us prevent further crimes and bring offenders to justice.

“Every report provides us with valuable information. And if people aren’t comfortable with making that report, then we want them to know how they can get the support and help they need.

“This new service in not only innovative in the way it has been designed – from the ground up in consultation with more than 40 organisations (including Rape Crisis, End Violence Against Women and the Survivors Trust) – but also in the way it is being deployed – online where people, especially younger people, increasingly are.”

When visiting the websites of those forces, options are available to report a sexual offence themselves, on behalf on another person, or as a witness. People can choose to report in English or Welsh.

If the pilot is successful, it will become a permanent reporting feature and will be available for other forces to adopt nationally.

Det Ch Insp White added:

” We’re absolutely committed to ensuring our railways are a safe place for people to travel and we hope this is just another tool in our armoury against sexual offending.”

British Transport Police has also been accredited by White Ribbon, committed to ending violence against woman and girls. It recently signed a pledge encouraging all men within the organisation to make a promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

Millie Gant, Sexual Assault Referral centre (SARC) Manager at Leicestershire Police said:

” Online reporting of sexual offences offers a safe, clear and effective way to report and share information with the police.

“I am impressed with the ‘Support before Report’ approach, which is a first for policing. The provision at every stage offers information and links to access specialist support, with no pressure to formally report until ready.

“This demonstrates how committed the police are in ensuring that support is prioritised over a formal police report.”

Text 61016: Save it in your phone and be vigilant this festive period

As British Transport Police (BTP) increases patrols across England, Scotland and Wales this festive season, officers are urging passengers to stay alert and report any suspicious behaviour using our discreet text number, 61016.

Uniform and plain clothes officers will be at stations and patrolling trains nationwide, supporting passengers as higher numbers are expected to travel in the run up to and during the Christmas and New Year period.

Passengers will see Project Servator teams conducting highly visible and unpredictable patrols across the network. These officers are specially trained in spotting the tell-tale signs of those with criminal or terrorist intent and will be supported by specialist resources such as search dogs and armed police to keep you safe.

We are urging passengers to remain vigilant and report any suspicious or unusual behaviour to them by speaking to officers or texting 61016.

You can also report it online via www.gov.uk/ACT or call the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. In an emergency, call 999.

Superintendent Sandra England said:

” Whilst we’re all looking forward to enjoying a somewhat ‘normal’ festive season this year, your safety remains our top priority.

“As passenger levels continue to rise, everyone has a vital role to play in making the railway network a hostile environment for criminals and terrorists. We’ll be stepping up patrols across the Christmas period supported by over 150,000 CCTV cameras across the network, however we also rely on passengers to be our eyes and ears on the ground.

“Please trust your instincts and report crime or any suspicious activity to us. Every report is taken seriously.

“Save 61016 in your phone, you never know when you might need us. In an emergency always dial 999.”

#AceNewsDesk report …………..Published: Dec.10: 2021:

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