NEWQUAY'S acting police inspector has urged women to take "basic steps" to keep themselves safe after a woman was raped on a town beach last month.
James Honeywill said sexual offences were rare in the resort but stressed there were precautions that could be taken to minimise the risk of being attacked.
The rape is reported to have taken place on Towan beach in the town centre on Sunday, September 9.
It is understood that the victim and rapist – believed to be aged between 20 and 30 – did not know each other prior to the attack.
Mr Honeywill said: "Thankfully crimes of this type are rare in Cornwall and sexual offences in Newquay and Bodmin have decreased by 11 per cent compared to this time last year.
"Women should not be unduly alarmed by this particular crime, but we always encourage women to think about their personal safety when they go out at night."
He advised women to be aware of their surroundings and not to leave drinks unattended. Walking with friends and keeping a mobile phone close at hand were also good ideas.
Mr Honeywill added: "Excessive drinking lowers the inhibitions of people and can lead to individuals putting themselves in situations they might not put themselves in when sober.
"Unfortunately many of the crimes we investigate involve victims who have consumed excessive alcohol and placed themselves at risk and I would encourage all women just to be aware of this and to take basic steps to keep themselves safe.
"We take crime and fear of crime very seriously and do everything we can to make Newquay as safe as possible."
If anyone has any information about the incident, please call 101, quoting reference GN/12/2132, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 500111.