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Crime

Police urge teenage girls in Wales to report sexual harassment

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BRITISH Transport Police is today (Wednesday 29 May) releasing new statistics that suggest sexual harassment is underreported by teenage girls in Wales. Also today, Lex Gibbon, 19, recounts her experience of harassment in new single.

Crime statistics released today show that:

  • In 2022, 663 teenage girls reported sexual offences or harassment to British Transport Police.
  • In 2023 in Wales, this number fell from 28 to 21 reports, a 33% decrease.

Police believe that many incidents are still going unreported, and that many people are not aware that you can report any type of sexual behaviour that makes you uncomfortable.

One of the real stories behind the statistics is brought to life in Lex Gibbon’s new single, ‘Audacity’. Lex wrote the song after a man followed her through an underground train station, verbally abused her and touched her.

At the time, Lex had not heard of British Transport Police’s text 61016 service and did not report the incident. Lex later discovered text 61016 and approached British Transport Police to collaborate on the launch of her single to raise awareness.  

Police believe that many girls have experienced similar behaviour and, like Lex, are unaware that it can be reported to police. As shown in the song’s lyrics, police believe that many girls blame themselves for what happened. Today, officers are reassuring victims that sexual harassment is never their fault and urging everyone to save text 61016 in their phone.

Lex Gibbon said: “I was followed through an underground train station by a man who made me feel extremely unsafe, scared and vulnerable.

“At the time I had no idea that text 61016 existed. I believe it’s really important to help women feel safer on public transport, so when I wrote ‘Audacity’ about my experience I felt it could really raise awareness for the initiative.

“I’ve now reported and spent a day with British Transport Police, and I’ve seen how seriously they take sexual harassment.

“If someone does this to me again, I’ll be texting it in. Please save 61016 in your phone and use it to report this sort of creepy behaviour.”  

British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable Paul Furnell said: “The man’s behaviour as described by Lex is completely unacceptable. I want everyone to know that acting like this on the rail network has serious consequences.

“As well as our uniformed and plain clothes officers, 150,000 CCTV cameras and your fellow passengers are watching you.

“We’re receiving more and more reports about sexual harassment, as people have had enough of this disgusting behaviour and know we prioritise tackling it. We use reports from multiple passengers to secure the strongest possible sentences for sex offenders.

“Sadly, we know that many women feel that they have no option but to put up with sexual harassment. That’s not the case: if someone is persistently bothering you and makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, please text 61016 to report it.

“Our officers are on patrol 24/7 and can meet trains at the next station. If it happens on the tube and you don’t have signal, you can speak to staff or text us at the next station.

“Nothing is too small to report and sexual harassment is never your fault. Save text 61016 in your phone today”.

Siwan Hayward, TfL’s Director of Security, Policing and Enforcement, said: “We are deeply sorry that Lex experienced this horrific incident on our network. The safety of women and girls is an absolute priority for us and we are committed to tackling sexual harassment, working closely with the police to make our capital’s transport network a hostile place for offenders.

“We are actively promoting the importance of reporting crimes that we know are underreported, and welcome the increase in reporting of sexual offences as evidence that more women and girls and bystanders have the confidence to come forward and report experiences, knowing that they will be taken seriously and that offenders will be pursued. We encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses this behaviour to report it to the police or a member of staff so that we can take action against offenders and put the right measures in place to prevent this from happening.”

Listen to Audacity here: https://collect.wetransfer.com/board/slw1b24i1i4x0o9n320240409172645

How to report

Every report is important. See it or experience it, you can report anything that makes you uncomfortable by text 61016, via the Railway Guardian app or by calling 0800 40 50 40.

Click here to save text 61016 in your phone today: https://qr1.be/X0RR

You can also report past incidents and anonymously report sexual offences at btp.police.uk.

In an emergency, always call 999.

Crime

Police appeal for information following assault at railway station

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OFFICERS in Pembrokeshire are investigating a report of an assault on a woman that happened outside Haverfordwest Railway Station at approximately 8:10pm on Monday (Jun 17).

One man, aged 49, was arrested on suspicion of common assault and remains in police custody.

Did you witness the assault or have any information that could help officers with their investigation? If so, get in touch:

🖥️ | https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline

📧 | [email protected]

💬 | Direct message us on social media

📞 | 101

Quote ref: 24*537044

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Crime

Police confirm arrests following violent disorder in Pembroke Dock

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POLICE in Pembrokeshire have made a statement following the incident on Saturday in which a man on a hoodie was seen wielding a samurai sword in Pembroke Street, Pembroke Dock whilst others engaged in a punch up. 

The police have now confirmed that four people were arrested following events, three men and one woman.  

On Monday a spokesperson said: “Dyfed Powys police responded to a report of disorder and an individual with a weapon, on Pembroke Street, Pembroke Dock at approx. 4:50pm, Saturday June 15.

“Emergency services were dispatched immediately and arrived at scene shortly after.

Four people were arrested; 3 males aged 51, 47, 46 and one female, 37 and have since been released on bail, pending further police enquiries.

We are not looking for anyone else in relation to this incident.

Superintendent for Pembrokeshire, Craig Templeton of Pembrokeshire said.

“We understand this has caused concern amongst residents in the area.

We would like to thank members of the public for their patience and support during this incident.

You will likely see a greater police presence in the area and our local officers will be available should you have any concerns and wish to speak with someone”.

If you have any information that may assist officers in their investigation, please contact us either online via https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline[email protected]

Direct message us on social media or call 101

Quoting Ref: 252 of the 15th.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Crime

Audi driver admits to careless driving, seriously injuring paramedic

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AN Audi driver has admitted to careless driving, which resulted in a paramedic sustaining serious injuries.

Charlotte Harding, 38, of Murray Road in Milford Haven, crashed her Audi A3 into paramedic Sean Luby, who was riding his Honda motorbike on the A4076 Steynton Road at approximately 5.10pm on January 29 last year. Mr Luby was subsequently taken to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff in critical condition.

Harding appeared at Swansea Crown Court, where she pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by careless driving. She is scheduled to be sentenced on August 9.

Judge Paul Thomas KC indicated that although the offence meets the custody threshold, Harding, who has no prior convictions, is likely to receive a suspended sentence.

Prosecutor Sian Cutter informed the court that Mr Luby had suffered “both grave and life-threatening injuries” in the collision. Ian Bridge, representing Harding, stated that she was “distraught” over the incident.

In the meantime, Harding has been given an interim driving disqualification until the date of her sentencing.

Following the accident, Mr Luby’s colleagues established a JustGiving page to support his family with travel and accommodation costs while he was hospitalised. The initiative received an overwhelming response, raising nearly £6,000 in less than two days, with the total amount eventually reaching £11,145.

The community’s generosity has provided significant support to Mr Luby and his family during this challenging time.

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