POLICE are planning to target people showing ­predatory behaviour in a bid to prevent rapes from taking place.

In a ground-breaking move, the National Rape Task Force is developing a system where warnings can be issued to anyone displaying "unacceptable" conduct.

They hope by sending a strong message to people at risk of becoming perpetrators they can change behaviours, protect potential victims and prevent crimes.

Loading article content

The move was welcomed by campaigners tackling violence against women.

Detective Superintendent Louise Raphael, of the force's Rape Task Force, said the system was in the "developmental stage". She said: "Prevention of rape has always been regarded as being really difficult but that doesn't mean there's things that we can't be doing, that we shouldn't be thinking about."

Ms Raphael said any warnings would only be given after a process and police would not be "reckless".

Ms Raphael said in some cases people would be told their behaviour was "completely unacceptable".

Sandy Brindley of Rape Crisis Scotland, said: "It is encouraging to see the police intervening. I can see why some people might view it as controversial but if it is targeting predatory behaviour which might result in serious consequences then the police should be involved."