DETECTIVES are warning women to act responsibly and stop drinking so much after shocking figures showed the link between booze and sex offences.

Sixty-five per cent of all sexual offences allega-tions, including rape, are alcohol related, Bournemouth officers say.

They also found:

  • many victims of sex crimes had been drinking, with many offences happening between midnight and 4am;
  • many people who believed they had been the victims of drink spiking had simply had too much to drink.

DI John Gately, of Bournemouth CID, said: "We want people to start taking responsibility for themselves more and stop drinking so much.

"We have tried to get a reduction of offences through educating vulnerable members of the public about the link between alcohol consumption and the risk of becoming a victim.

"The amount of times alcohol plays a major part in sex assaults is very high - about 65 per cent of all cases are alcohol-related and in serious sexual offences it is probably higher.

"The offences often happen between midnight and 4am which is linked to the night-time economy. There is also a rise in reports of sexual offences in the spring and summer and the influx of people into Bournemouth at those times plays a big part.

"With Christmas coming up people really need to take responsibility for themselves and stop drinking so much. We really need to get that message across. Last late November and December we had offences linked to Christmas parties and the number of people drinking alcohol."

DI Gately said that while allegations of drink-spiking are made quite often,the offence is very rare.

"When we have tested in the forensic labs we have only found alcohol. None of the tests we carried out found the major drugs such as GHB or Rohypnol that are used for drink spiking," he said.

Across the country just 0.1 per cent of all submitted drink-spiking tests come back positive and experts say the biggest reason for memory loss is alcohol.

"We would never say it doesn't happen but it is not as prevalent, alcohol is the main constituent."

People may also suffer similar effects to those caused by drink spiking drugs, such as memory loss and disorientation, if they mix alcohol with the drug ecstasy.

Victims of serious sexual offences or rape are looked after by Bournemouth police's sexual offences co-ordinating team.