SHOCKING RISE IN NUMBER OF RAPES
Lisa Hodge • Published 15 Jun 2012 09:30
THE NUMBER of reported rapes across the Strathclyde Police area has shot up by a quarter, according to a new report.
Police figures show that recorded rapes increased by 25 percent between 2001 and 2012 while violent crime fell by 20 percent.
The statistics come from the force's annual report which shows 450 rapes were reported in the last year compared to 361 between 2010 and 2011.
Recorded cases of violent crime fell from 6,556 to 5,222 over the same period.
According to the report the murder rate fell from 58 to 51, with attempted murders down from 278 to 209. Cases of culpable homicide increased slightly, from six to 10.
The rape case figures are the first full-year statistics to be produced since the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 became effective in December 2010.
The act widened the definition of rape, giving a legal definition of consent and a legal recognition of male rape.
Rape Crisis Scotland said the rise in the figures could be down to more women feeling confident enough to report sex crimes.
Co-ordinator Sandy Brindley said: "It's always difficult to draw conclusions from rape figures as they may go up because women have increased confidence in the police to take their allegations seriously."
Strathclyde Police's Chief Constable Stephen House said: "The results show that we have made significant progress. However, figures are not everything and for me the real success lies in the prevention of crime, the reduction of the numbers of families and communities affected by crime and the increase in our ability to keep people safe."
The annual report also showed other falls in violent crime figures.
Serious assaults were down from 3,028 to 2,530 and cases of robbery and assault with intent to rob dropped from 1,488 to 1,246.
The annual report is the last to be published by Strathclyde Police ahead of the creation of a single Scottish force.
MSP for Cunninghame South Kenneth Gibson said the drop in violent crime was a huge boost for North Ayrshire.
He said: "This is great news for the people of Ayrshire and shows that the SNP Government is totally dedicated to keeping our communities safer and tackling crime through having more police on our streets. These record police numbers underline the cast-iron commitment the SNP Government has to protecting our police service."
This article appeared in Irvine Times 13 Jun 12