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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

March 14, 2006: New Campaign On Rape

The Government has launched an advertising campaign warning men that they could go to jail for rape if they have sex without consent. The adverts will feature in lads’ magazines, on radio stations and in pub washrooms, targeting young men aged 18-24 to raise awareness and understanding of consent. The radio adverts will be broadcast on weekend early evening slots, at a time when young people are getting ready to go out. The campaign runs until 30 April. Copies of the advertising material are available here.

Consent is at the centre of the offence of rape. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 set down, for the first time, that a defendant in a rape case would need to show that they have reasonable grounds to believe that the other person had given their consent.

The Act also introduced a definition of consent – that a person consents if s/he ‘agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice’. The Sexual Offences Act was granted Royal Assent on 20 November 2003 and implemented on 1 May 2004.

While recognising, that only a small minority of men ever commit rape, the campaign is nevertheless aimed at men, because the vast majority of sexual offences are committed by men. It is also known that alcohol plays a significant role in rapes.

The campaign aims to reduce incidents of rape by ensuring that men understand they need to gain active consent before they have sex. The Government is spending £400,000 on the campaign, which will run until the end of April, and aims to reduce the number of offences committed and increase reporting rates. Home Office Minister Fiona Mactaggart commented:

"For a long time, work to raise awareness of sexual violence has focused on the need for women to take responsibility for their personal safety. That is still important, but I believe that we need to start putting the onus onto men and make them aware of their responsibilities."

"I want young men to see these adverts and realise that they should not be having sex unless they have secured the consent of the other person. Our campaign is not saying 'don't have sex'; it is about ensuring that sex is mutually agreed. Victims of crime often feel they are to blame for the offence, they are not - perpetrators are. But I want to make sure that men, who are most often the perpetrators of this appalling crime, are fully aware of their responsibility to seek consent before having sex. I hope that greater awareness of the law and a clearer sense of everybody’s responsibilities will lead to a reduction in the number of rapes committed."

Further information on Government policy and legislation on sexual offences, and details on where to find advice and support for victims of rape, see the sexual offences page on the Home Office website.