RAUNCHY posters designed to cut drink-fuelled violence on Britain's streets have been removed from police stations because female officers find them offensive.

The images used to promote the national Nightsafe scheme in County Durham have been taken down because they were described as degrading to women.

The posters are designed to catch the eye of 18 to 24-year-old men - which the Home Office has identified as the main offenders.

A model is seen next to slogans such as "Hi boys, I'd rather have a laugh with you and see you in stitches", to discourage young men from binge drinking and becoming violent.

They are meant to suggest that no one finds a drunk attractive, especially if he has been fighting, vomiting or falling over.

The Northern Echo understands that two senior female officers from Durham Constabulary complained to bosses about the use of provocative and degrading images.

But the force's official stance is that the posters were taken down because they were designed for pubs and clubs, and were never meant to be displayed in police stations.

Acting Superintendent Dave Cromarty said: "A few posters promoting the campaign appeared on notice boards in some police stations and, as they were never intended for display in this way, they were taken down.

"They continue to be used in pubs and clubs in the south of the county as intended."

Durham Constabulary has been a leading supporter of the scheme, which was launched in the south of the county by Sedgefield, Darlington and Wear and Tees Community Safety Partnerships last month.

It followed a successful pilot scheme pioneered by Lancashire Police in Blackpool, and is being rolled out across the country.

Acting Supt Cromarty added: "It has been running in the Wear Valley area for over a year and, to my knowledge, no complaints have been received during that time."

Campaign designers believed that, as well as catching the eye of young men, the images would have a positive effect for the female audience.

They show the young woman to be calm, confident and sexy - characteristics researchers say they would aspire to.

Jill Radford, professor of women's studies and criminology at Teesside University, said she approved of the campaign but felt the poster was not the best method to promote it.

She said: "When you see that poster, it doesn't strike you as been about binge drinking. You cannot even tell it is about drinking. It looks more like it is for a sex club. I would agree with the policewomen."