Festive warning over ‘drunken pranks’ issued by police chief

A senior Yorkshire policeman has warned Christmas revellers that ‘drunken pranks’ could end with them being prosecuted for sexual assault.

South Yorkshire Police are today aiming to raise awareness about the links between alcohol and sexual offences as part of a pre-Christmas campaign.

With the Christmas party season now in full swing, posters and radio adverts have been issued across South Yorkshire stressing the lasting consequences drinking alcohol can have.

Superintendent Peter Norman, the force’s lead for violent crime, said: “At this time of year, many people become involved in celebrating the festive season by attending parties and social gatherings. For some people this may be the only time during the year they visit pubs, wine bars or nightclubs.

“Alcohol can make everyone vulnerable, regardless of their age or sex. We know from experience that young men under the influence can become involved in violent confrontations and that women can be subject to unwanted sexual approaches by men.”

Mr Norman said a number of crime types, such as antisocial behaviour, sexual offences, domestic abuse and drink driving, tend to peak at this time of year and that alcohol is often the common factor. He added: “What initially may seem to be a drunken prank, particularly by young men, can actually be inappropriate sexual touching, or sexual harassment, or sexual assault.

“These are offences that can lead to arrest, prosecution and life changing outcomes for an individual.”