A survey in the North East has suggested that “Groping” and sexual assaults are rife as the summer festival season is well underway.
In a survey by the North East Magazine, HEAVY, 58% of respondents said they had been groped or sexually touched at a live music gig.
The survey also shows that 63% are aware of such incidents happening to their friends.
Northumria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird urges all music-lovers to report assaults without hesitation.
“Sexual assaults are assaults – calling it ‘groping’ doesn’t make it any less serious – and if you think it does you’re wrong.
“Whatever the circumstances, whether at a festival or concert, at work or on the bus – if you have been assaulted, you will be taken seriously and offered appropriate support.
“Those responsible need to realise what we’re talking about here is a criminal offence and police will take firm action. I have raised the issue with our Safeguarding Department and give my full support to our officers who will work with local music venues in tackling this unacceptable behaviour. It will not be tolerated.”
DCI Deborah Alderson from Northumbria Police’s Safeguarding Team said:
“As these figures illustrate, there is clearly an issue and I want to stress that any form of assault – physical or sexual – whether on a tightly packed dancefloor or not – will be taken very seriously by Northumbria Police.
“People might think this is just something that they expect to happen at a gig and accept it as the ‘norm’, well there is nothing normal about it and you don’t have to put up with it.”
Jamie Thomas, from local magazine, HEAVY who conducted the research, said:
“Some people don’t realise this goes on, or think it’s extremely rare, but this research makes it quite clear that far too many people have been groped or sexually assaulted at a gig and it’s something that could happen to anyone. “