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Police protect women on nights out by tackling inappropriate behaviour

A proactive policing operation in Northampton and Kettering town centres which aims to keep women safe on nights out is proving to be extremely effective at stopping offending behaviour, and in safeguarding the vulnerable.

The operation known as Operation Kayak was first introduced by Northamptonshire Police last year after Covid lockdown restrictions on pubs, clubs and leisure facilities were lifted. It was clear that following the terrible murder of Sarah Everard, women did not feel safe, and much more was needed to be done across the whole of the UK to reduce sexual harassment and violence against women.

Violence Against Women and Girls is a matter of priority for Northamptonshire Police and an area of focus for at least the next three years.

Operation Kayak initially began as a pilot in 2021, and was funded by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. However due to its success, this operation has now become business as usual for the Force.

As part of the op, unformed officers undertake hot spot patrols on Friday and Saturday nights (and on student nights) to help reduce offending, safeguard the public and protect against sexual aggression, harassment, and inappropriate behaviour.

Since it began, officers from Operation Kayak have arrested nine men for sexual offences - including rape and sexual assault. Officers have also provided warnings and words of advice to people seen acting suspiciously, aggressively, or displaying concerning behaviours.

In addition, any vehicles seen loitering in or driving around Northampton and Kettering town centres are stopped to see if their reason for being in the area is valid. As part of the op more than 200 vulnerable people have been supported and safeguarded.

Read more in the full article here.

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Kelly Noble
(Police, Social Media Engagement Officer - Corporate Communication , Northamptonshire Police)

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