Head of PSNI’s Public Protection Branch, Detective Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman said: “We were made aware this evening that old PSNI flyers had been distributed in north Belfast this week, and that this had been reported online.
“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.
“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.
“We are taking urgent action to ensure that any remaining flyers will be destroyed so this cannot happen again.
“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. Your report will be thoroughly investigated, and you will be signposted to support services such as Nexus and Victim Support, among others.
“As a Police Service, it is our job to keep you safe, to investigate allegations of crime and bring offenders before the courts. We are committed to investigating sexual crime robustly and thoroughly and we will do all we can to bring perpetrators to justice.”
Police Service of Northern Ireland, in collaboration with a range of partner agencies including Nexus, Public Prosecution Service, Queen’s Students’ Union, Ulster University Students’ Union and Victim Support, launched a new sexual consent awareness campaign in 2018 called ‘No Grey Zone’.
The campaign aims to highlight the issue of sexual consent and educate and empower people to ask the right questions and know what is acceptable and what is not. Details of this can be found at: https://nogreyzone.com