Police Scotland plan to tackle sex crime after 13% increase

21st January, 2022 10:33 am

Police Scotland plan to tackle rising sex crimes with a strategy targeted at achieving ‘attitudinal and cultural change’ – amid nearly 200 domestic abuse reports a day.

The number of reported sexual crimes across Scotland including rape and online child abuse increased by more than 13 per cent last year, while an average of 180 domestic abuse reports were made.

A total of 7,519 sexual crimes were recorded in the first half of 2021/22, up 13.4 per cent.

This compares to 6,629 in the same period of 2020/21.

A 12 per cent increase in reports of rape was recorded, with police alerted to 132 attacks in the past year.

A report for the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) by Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham outlined a strategy to improve the police’s efforts to tackle violence against women and girls, on Wednesday.

Deputy Chief Constable Graham said the strategy acknowledged more resources needed to be given to organisations such as Rape Crisis Scotland and a public protection development programme was being developed.

The report mentions the murder of Sarah Everard by serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens, and other high-profile crimes as incidents which demonstrate “the need to continually review and improve our approaches”.

A new verification process was launched in October last year to reassure the public after Ms Everard was abducted, raped and murdered by by Couzens, 48, who used his warrant card to get her into his car.

The document stated: “The strategy will recognise the impact of broader societal issues, the need for attitudinal and cultural change and seek to inspire and influence change through education, intervention, prevention and the robust pursuit of perpetrators.”

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said the strategy covered a “massive journey” that policing in Scotland has been on for decades.

He said: “We are absolutely conscious of what our challenges are.

“We are looking them square in the eye and we are making tangible plans to make process.”

Positive feedback for the new officer verification process and the success of the ‘That Guy’ social media campaign – showing the casualisation of sleazy and intimidating or coercive behaviour from normal-looking men – are highlighted in the report.

Survivor feedback was read aloud by Detective Chief Inspector Laura McLuckie at the meeting to stress more work needs to be done.

One survivor said: “I feel I’ve been left in the dark without any rough ideas with regards to time-scales for next steps.

“I feel I’ve been left to piece together for myself what the process involves, which has been anxiety-inducing for me after making such a big decision to report.”

Mr Livingstone said: “Our commitment and approach to tackling violence against women and girls doesn’t sit in isolation from everything else that we are doing as an organisation.

“We are utterly committed to this and we are going to drive progress in the months and years ahead.”

Source: Glasgow Times

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