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Rise of sexual offences in Canterbury’s City centre

By Ellie Vasey

Sexual offences on students have more than doubled in Canterbury’s City centre during late night hours.

In the last 5 years sexual offences on students have risen from just 6 offences in 2011 to 15 in 2016.

The offences took place between the hours of 10pm and 6am, with the highest number committed in the Westgate ward.

Table showing the number of sexual offences recorded in Canterbury’s surrounding areas.

Lee Thompson, Canterbury’s community safety unit acting Inspector said: “Kent Police takes all crimes, not least sexual offences, extremely seriously and we will investigate every report with the intention of bringing offenders to justice.

“An operation runs every weekend providing additional uniformed patrols specifically tasked with policing the city’s vibrant night time economy and extra patrols are also drafted in during peak periods such as Fresher’s week, Halloween and Christmas.

“CCTV across the city is monitored around the clock by the city council and the unit has a direct link to our control room.”

Table showing number of sexual offences on people with occupation as student

A statement issued by Inspector Lee Thompson on advice on personal safety during a night out states that:

  • Do not walk home alone late at night. If you do then choose well-lit main roads and walk confidently.
  • In a busy public place, try to only use your mobile phone in an emergency as it is advertising the fact that you have a phone and whilst using it you are distracted, making it easier to take it from you.
  • If you are attacked it is often better to shout fire rather than help, it tends to attract more attention.
  • Book a taxi home before going out, do not flag down a taxi as you cannot be sure they are a licensed cab driver.