Essex Police and the University of Essex have been working together to help to tackle sexual offences within the student community

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Detectives from Essex Police  Public Protection Unit, which investigates crimes like sexual offences, have provided training to students in Colchester and Southend who are part of the University’s Residence Life team. The training included looking at what sexual offences are and discussing related issues.

The Residence Life team is part of the University’s Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service with Residents’ Assistants,  working within University accommodation to build support community building and provide welfare support.

This term, the team have used the training they received from Essex Police to help them to deliver Introductory sessions to students living on the University’s campuses. The training has included interactive sessions on consent, harassment and hate crime, as well as making students aware of the online reporting platform, Report and Support. The platform allows students to report any incidents of sexual offences, harassment or hate crime and also signposts them to the appropriate support.

Officers have also provided training to University security staff so they know what they should do if someone reports an offence; as well as the best way to engage with a victim, and how to provide information to police.

Detective Inspector Craig Wiggins said: “It’s really important young people are armed with information about issues like consent so we can all keep each other safe.
“The students we’ve provided training to will now be able to provide that training to other students and hopefully that peer-to-peer conversation will be really impactive.”
Detective Inspector Yoni Adler said: “By better equipping security staff with knowledge about what they need to do if someone reports an offence will hopefully mean we’ll be better placed to bring an offender to justice.

This work with the University of Essex also emphasises their commitment to keeping their students safe and this partnership work is really important.”
Registrar Bryn Morris said: “We’re grateful for this help from Essex Police. Working in partnership with them will help to keep our community safe, and ensure our staff have access to their latest advice and guidance.”