Arrests made as part of officers’ response to reducing violence against women and girls in Southampton
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Two arrests were made at the weekend as part of response to reducing violence against women and girls in Southampton.
At around 1.30am on Sunday (January 30), door staff of a club in Bedford Place informed us that a man was displaying unwanted behaviour towards women outside the premises.
What he was doing what was not a crime by law, but we can still take action.
We issued a Section 35 Dispersal Order against him. These give us the power to order people to leave an area for a set amount of time to prevent a situation from getting more serious and protect those who need our help.
In this case, it was to leave the city centre and not return until Monday (31 January) at 7am.
The man then proceeded to sit next to a group of women in Vernon Walk who told him to go away.
The 29-year-old man from Southampton was then arrested for failing to comply with a Section 35 Order and was taken into custody for questioning about his behaviour. He was dealt with by way of a community resolution, to attend an alcohol awareness course.
Later at 2.45am, we were called to a club in Bedford Place following reports of a man sexually assaulting two women inside, leading to an altercation in the street between the man and another group of men.
A 42-year-old man from Southampton was arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of sexual assault. He was questioned by officers and then later released under investigation to allow officers to make follow up enquiries with witnesses and view CCTV.
Acting Chief Inspector Clare Denyer said: “When women go out to socialise in Southampton, they deserve to be able to enjoy their evening without fear of harassment or sexual violence.
“Our officers are doing everything in their power, including arrests and dispersal orders, to keep women safe and bring offenders to justice.
“We continue to work with venues to build on the great work their staff are doing to spot predatory behaviour.
“We have also been working with them to spot the signs of spiking, and to inform us straight away.
“Thanks to the close relationships we have with our partners, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Violence Reduction Unit, and street pastors, we are able to quickly identify if any individuals need help and safeguard them.
“We take every report of sexual violence seriously and would urge you to call us as soon as you can, via 999 if it is an emergency, so we can take action.”
To better understand reports of needle spiking, we have also recently invested in multi-drug urine test kits which give an immediate reading and help us obtain early evidence.
Between December 18 and January 14, we used these nine times in Southampton.
Six test results were negative and three tested positive for amphetamine, cannabis and cocaine, all drugs we would not typically associate with drink spiking.