Sexual assault is a serious issue that has gained a lot of public attention recently. Sexual assault can happen anywhere and can affect everyone regardless of age, gender or social status. It's with this in mind that Crime Stoppers with Victoria Police and Public Transport Victoria launched 'The Hands Off Campaign'.
The campaign is now in its second week and has reached over 1 million people on social media. 'Hands Off' aims to involve the Victorian community in identifying alleged offenders of sexual assault on their public transport network. People are encouraged to get involved by reporting any information to Crime Stoppers.
Images of the alleged offenders have been released on the Crime Stoppers website, Facebook page and Twitter account and a description of the alleged crime accompanies each of the posts. Crime Stoppers said in a statement that public support of the campaign has lead to a number of offenders being identified.
Here are two examples of images released as part of 'The Hands Off Campaign'.
In July a woman was sexually assaulted in Dandenong, Victoria. The alleged offender boarded the tram at Parkville and exited near Melbourne's CBD.
Crime Stoppers and Victoria Police have also released CCTV footage of suspects to help the public identify them more easily. In the case below, Victoria Police are searching for a man who allegedly exposed himself while travelling on a tram in Coburg back in July 7 this year.
Crime Stoppers Victoria General Manager Cathy Rhodes said in a statement that she hopes the second week of 'The Hands Off Campaign' is as successful as the first.
"The dedication of the Victorian community to help solve crime never ceases to amaze us at Crime Stoppers," she said.
"This is a fantastic community effort and we're extremely grateful to everyone who has supported the campaign so far.
"As we enter the second and final week of this important campaign to make our public transport system even safer, we ask that all Victorians continue to support and share it, and report anything they know to Crime Stoppers entirely confidentially."
If you have been a victim of sexual offence, please call Triple Zero or your local police station. Advice and support is also available at 1800 RESPECT or 1800respect.org.au
Anyone with information about a wanted person or crime should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestoppersvic.com.au.
'The Hands Off Campaign' concludes November 5.