A free service has been set up in Brighton to help people get home safely on a night out.
Home Safe Brighton is an organisation which aims to support the safety of women and members of the LGBT+ community.
The group was set up in response to the rise in reported sexual assaults in the city centre at night.
Co-founder of Home Safe, Alice Leverton, 26, from Brighton, said:
“We just thought we needed to do something about this.
“So many more stories and experiences from our friends and people we knew were coming out, and we thought there needs to be a community response to this.”
Alice said Home Safe is a group of theatre friends from the Clap Back Club who all volunteer on Saturday nights.
Their official launch was on Saturday, June 29, with members patrolling the most dangerous areas including The Pavilion, St James Street and Old Steine.
They are currently only operating on Saturdays but hope to expand the schedule to include Fridays.
Rhys Christian-Mobsby, 27, who is also a co-founder of the organisation, said:
“I’m a gay man and the abuse and the kind of harassment that I’ve noticed, not just towards myself but to members of the public on nights out, has definitely increased.
“I also think that the people doing it are becoming more brazen with how they attack people.
“I do feel there has been an increase, especially towards women and people in the LGBT community.
“We’re open to help anyone but we definitely feel that these demographics of people are being targeted more.”
Home Safe aims to help people get on a bus or call a taxi if they feel too intoxicated.
If partygoers live within the city centre, volunteers are available to walk them home and keep them company.
Alice said one of the biggest issues is underreporting sexual assaults and harassment.
“What we’re really trying to do is encourage people to work together to increase the amount of funding and awareness that goes into this.
“I think accusing people for not reporting crimes and putting the onus on that being their responsibility isn’t the right way to go about this.
“But, giving information as to the reasons why reporting can be really important towards the effectiveness of the service and being able to support people through it is really important to us, and is one way we can think of where we can contribute to bettering this much wider issue.”