AVON and Somerset Police is offering tips for female joggers - who receive abuse while running.

The #JogOn campaign from the force aims to help women feel confident when they job in parks and footpaths.

Campaign groups say female runners face comments such as 'hey fatty, legs up, you can go faster than that'.

The scheme is in partnership with Bristol Zero Tolerance - whose Street Harassment project has heard from women who have felt intimidated or harassed while exercising.

One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "It's mainly being shouted at in the street when on my bike - either derogatory comments about my weight or sexual comments.

"I have also been grabbed by men reaching out of car windows whilst I cycle."

Another said they had been followed by a man while out running.

A run leader in Hengrove called Rose said young people often run along-side her group saying "hey fatty, legs up, you can go faster than that".

She said: "The people they usually pick on have low self-esteem already, and this could make the difference to them coming back the following week or not."

Marie, another run leader in Hengrove said: "The most hurtful comments have to be to our larger runners. It's disgusting and really knocks their confidence."

Bristol Zero Tolerance have made a 'toolkit' on how to handle gender-based harassment in the street.

Women are advised to exercise in a group to gain confidence and help deter threatening behaviour.

They are told to stay alert but not worried, to enjoy exercising and remember that safety should be the priority.

Lastly, the advice added to stay cool and remain an observer - to respond to hecklers is not always the safe thing to do because it can escalate the situation.

Charlotte Gage from the group said: "Women should feel empowered to respond to harassment, if they feel safe to, to show that this behaviour is not acceptable or 'normal.' But keep engagement brief, try not to lose your temper or to get involved in a dispute which could escalate to anger and violence, as we know that this is often what underlies supposed 'compliments'.

"We are lucky that in Avon and Somerset gender-based harassment is understood as a hate crime and so can be reported to the police in this way. This acknowledges how serious this kind of behaviour is and the impact it can have on women."

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: "As a keen runner myself, getting outside and exercising is not only good for your physical health but for your happiness and wellbeing too.

"Being catcalled or harassed while out exercising should not be the norm and #JogOn will hopefully empower people to put their trainers on and enjoy getting outdoors without being scared or intimidated."

Detective Superintendent Marie Wright, from Avon and Somerset Police, added: "Not everyone can afford a gym membership and getting outside in the fresh air is good for your health and wellbeing. I want to empower people to feel safe and confident whilst outside exercising.

"Unfortunately, we know that some people, usually women, can feel uncomfortable, intimidated or scared to go out for a run, especially in the winter when the nights are longer and there is less opportunity to be outdoors during daylight.

"Everyone should be able to enjoy the great outdoors and exercise wherever and whenever they choose to. Anyone who thinks it's ok to harass and intimidate others is mistaken - your behaviour won't be tolerated."