CCTV cameras will target sexual predators

SEXUAL predators will be targeted by CCTV systems in Glasgow.

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CCTV cameras will be used to catch sexual predators in Glasgow
CCTV cameras will be used to catch sexual predators in Glasgow

Police will also use stop and search tactics to snare anyone displaying predatory behaviour.

It comes as detectives continue to hunt the suspects behind a spate of sex attacks in Glasgow.

Chief Inspector Alan Porte, said: "There are men who will seek out women who may appear vulnerable.

"There are men who think it's okay to take advantage of a woman when she is drunk.

"But it is not okay, it is rape."

Police want to be proactive rather than reactive to incidents of sexual assault.

In a new move, city centre officers can use CCTV to monitor and track anyone behaving in an "unacceptable" way.

Stop-and-search laws are being used as part of a system to protect potential victims and prevent crimes.

Earlier this year we revealed the National Rape Task Force was developing a system where warnings can be issued to anyone displaying "unacceptable" conduct.

It hopes that by sending a strong message to people at risk of becoming perpetrators they can change behaviours, protect potential victims and stop crimes from taking place.

Today Mr Porte, area commander for the city centre, hopes by sending a strong message to potential perpetrators they will change their behaviour before they attack.

He said: "We have significant numbers of officers on duty in Glasgow city centre, every Friday and Saturday night.

"They work to try and identify people who we think may be predatory and to stop and search them.

"This has a preventative effect, because officers have noted the individual, their description and their personal details.

"The person stopped also knows police are aware he is in that specific area, therefore, they are far less likely to engage in criminal activity.

"And if they do, they are far more likely to be caught.

"Glasgow city centre is very well covered by CCTV and we will carry out extensive inquiries to trace any perpetrator."

Mr Porte also warned about predators who use the "good samaritan" role to prey on vulnerable women.

He said: "Reducing vulnerability is a big part of what we are trying to do to combat sexual crime.

"But the responsibility for such crimes lies firmly with the perpetrator.

"What we are trying to stop is the situation where a young woman, who is vulnerable through alcohol or because she has lost her phone, and is befriended by a predatory man.

"It may be the case that she is in no state to consent to sex.

"Sex without consent is rape.

"Sex without consent is wrong, it is a crime and we will catch you."

Police launched an investigation after three men raped a woman in Toryglen last month.

The 33-year-old was dragged into a close and attacked in Edinbeg Avenue.

Just days later, a young woman was raped in Dixon Road, Govanhill.

Police released CCTV footage of two men they want to speak to who may be able to help with their inquiries.

On May 30, a young girl was the victim of a sex attack in Poundland in Sauchiehall Street.

Meanwhile, a 22-year-old man was arrested in connection with an alleged serious sexual assault on a 24-year-old woman in Glasgow city centre at the weekend.

Police are working with pub and club staff to help them identify potential perpetrators - and potential victims.

Mr Porte said: "We work very closely with the licensed trade, door stewards and security staff at premises to assist us in identifying those we think may be behaving in a predatory manner.

"But we also want them to try and identify someone who may be vulnerable.

"We would much rather be called to help a vulnerable woman get home, than be called because she has been raped."

Police believe working with partners, including the Street Pastors and staff at the SOS Bus, is "vital" to keeping people safe.

Mr Porte added: "I understand people are concerned about recent incidents.

"We would encourage everyone to take some simple steps to avoid becoming vulnerable, including sticking with friends and make sure you have your mobile phone fully charged.

"It is safe for women to walk the streets of Glasgow."

rebecca.gray@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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