Reports of sexual crimes in East Renfrewshire skyrocket

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East Renfrewshire has seen the second highest jump in crime in Scotland

And the number of sexual crime reports increased dramatically between April and June this year.

Figures released by Police Scotland showed that sex crimes were almost double the five-year average during that period.

But officers were finding it more difficult to pick up offenders, as the detection halved.

Chief Superintendent Brian McInulty said: “There has been an increase in the reporting of sexual crimes which is partly due to the confidence of victims to come forward and report ongoing and historical incidents.

“We continue to work with the National Crime Agency; other law enforcement agencies and industry to identify those who use digital technology to abuse or exploit our children and identify children who may be at risk of such harm.

“We have a dedicated team of officers within the division who use their skills and knowledge to investigate these incidents using every investigative tool available to bring offenders to justice.”

Between April and June the number of sexual crime reports was 26 compared to 12 during the same period on 2017. The five-year average is 14.

Detection rates dropped from 108 per cent to 57 cent.

Sandy Brindley from Rape Crisis Scotland said that more needs to be done:

“Rape is a particularly underreported crime, which means that it hard to tell how much of this increase is due to people having more confidence in coming forward, and how much is due to more sexual crime being committed.

“What we do know is that our services are seeing unprecedented levels of demand, with more and more people coming forward to seek support.

“Some people are looking for support for incidents that happened recently, others about something that happened many years ago.

“No matter when it happened, rape crisis services across Scotland can provide free and confidential support.”

“More needs to be done to ensure that people who do have the confidence to report rape or sexual assault don’t end up feeling let down or re-victimised by the justice process.

“We also need to tackle the root causes of sexual violence by investing in primary prevention work around consent and healthy relationships”.

The crime report also showed that domestic abuse reports fell from 62 to 56 while detection rates also fell from 72 per cent to 51 per cent.

Officers fared better with the amount of drug offences detected, with the success rate going up by 125 per cent.

Anti social behaviour reports fell from 822 to 650 while housebreakings were down by a quarter and detection rates rose by 21 per cent.

The number of serious assaults more than doubled from five to 13 but the number of detections also increased. Common assaults dropped by 27 per cent with the percentage of detections fell from 67 per cent to 63 per cent.

Mr McInulty added: “In relation to domestic violence, we have remained focused on dealing quickly and effectively with incidences of domestic abuse and compared to the same period last year, the number of domestic abuse crimes has reduced which is a welcomed trend however, there has also been a slight reduction in detection rates.”

He continued: “In relation to homes being broken into, there has been a reduction in this year’s figures

“In addition to our uniformed officers providing a visible presence throughout the local community, a team of dedicated officers continues to investigate all such crimes across Greater Glasgow Division, seven days a week.

“Our focus remains on disorder and anti-social behaviour and we task our problem-solving teams accordingly.

“We continue to deploy resources to ‘hot spot’ areas and have seen the trend reducing however, we still encourage the community to report this type of behaviour.”