Seven arrests made in Exeter women violence police crackdown

27 incidents of drink spiking have been reported in Northampton since September.
Officers in Exeter city centre patrolled busy areas targeting predatory behaviour.

A week of action took place in Exeter city centre, with uniformed and plain clothed officers targeting offenders in the city's biggest nightlife spots.

Over three nights, Devon and Cornwall Police arrested seven people - one of which was for a sexual assault in a nightclub.

Four arrests were made for driving under the influence.

Officers patrolled busy areas in the city centre, including Gandy Street and Queen’s Street to spot predatory behaviour such as drink spiking, sexual assault and targeting vulnerable individuals.

Police visited a number of nightclubs and bars in Exeter as part of a week-long crackdown on violence against women and girls. Credit: ITV News Anglia

They visited clubs and bars and carried out various checks on taxi drivers for licensing compliance.

The operation comes just as Exeter University's Freshers' Week begins and thousands of new students arrive in the city.

'It's time for change'

Inspector Simon Arliss said officers regularly receive reports of predatory behaviour but that women should feel safe.

"We receive many reports, largely from women, regarding possible drink spiking incidents," he said.

"Women should be able to go out at night without the feeling unsafe. We hope that our presence assists in making women safer and serves as a warning to potential predators that intimidation will not be tolerated."

Councillor Laura Wright, from Exeter City Council, said: "We want Exeter to be somewhere where women and girls and indeed everyone, can feel comfortable and safe to enjoy the city."

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez added: “Young women in particular are sick and tired of enjoying a night out only to find they may be groped, drink spiked or harassed. 

"It’s time for change in society but particularly in the evening and night-time economy."