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Dublin: 14°C Friday 18 June 2021

PSNI investigate after old police flyers calling alcohol 'the number one rape drug' are distributed

The leaflets were distributed in north Belfast earlier this week.

THE POLICE SERVICE of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has launched an investigation into the distribution of material from a discontinued police campaign which linked rape victims to their alcohol intake.

The force issued a statement clarifying its stance that rape victims “are not to blame” this evening, after the leaflets were distributed in north Belfast earlier this week.

The Head of PSNI’s public protection branch, Detective Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman, that the force had only been made aware of the flyers today.

“First of all, I want all victims to know that the only people who are responsible for rape are rapists. Victims are not to blame,” she said.

“We are investigating how these flyers made their way into the public arena as they were discontinued a number of years ago.

“They do not reflect, in any way, how PSNI views or treats victims of sexual crime and we apologise, unreservedly, for what has happened.

“I can assure you that we will learn lessons from this.”

Hilman said the PSNI would also ensure that any remaining flyers from the campaign would be destroyed so that the incident would not happen again.

She also reminded the public that the force remained committed to investigating sexual crime thoroughly to bring perpetrators to justice.

“I want to take this opportunity to say that if you are a victim of a sexual crime and that if you choose to speak to us, you will be listened to, respected and treated sensitively,” she added.

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