Sex assaults double

Friday August 23rd 2019

Police Scotland Midlothian

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Sex crimes in Midlothian have increased over the last year, with the number of indecent or sexual assaults more than doubling.

A report on crimes in the county over the first quarter of this year has revealed that the number of sexual assaults were up by 120 per cent compared to the same period last year, with 33 crimes reported.

Sex crimes as a whole went up by 17.6 per cent with 60 recorded crimes while there was a 43 per cent fall in rape and attempted rape cases with 8 crimes recorded.

A report by Police Scotland put the increase in reports of sexual assault in part down to an “improved confidence in reporting”.

It said: “Partnership working is critical in dealing with sexual crime reported. The support offered to victims by partner agencies is essential and we continue to refer victims to these agencies.

“We know that rape and sexual crime remains underreported and it is only through work with partners we can help to give victims that confidence to report.”

Overall, reported crime in Midlothian between April and June this year was down 10 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Road traffic casualties fell by over 42 per cent and dishonesty crimes fell by nearly 21 per cent.

Serious assaults were up by 260 per cent, although the number remained low with 18 incidents reported compared to just five the previous year, and detection rates remained high at nearly 89 per cent.

Housebreaking also fell by 22.5 per cent, with police saying it equated to 21 fewer victims.

The police report said: “Tackling the housebreaking element of dishonesty, acquisitive crime and as such working to protect people by reducing the impact that it has on our communities remains a priority.”

The full report will be presented to Midlothian Council’s Police and Fire and Rescue Board next week. Click Here to read it.

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