Rise in sexual offence detection rates within Lothians and Scottish Borders

Friday June 4th 2021


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

The Lothians and Scottish Borders Division’s commitment to protecting vulnerable people has resulted in positive rise in sexual crime detection rates.

Police Scotland has today released its Q4 Management of Information data for the end of March 2020, to the beginning of April 2021, which shows that, solvency for overall sexual offences has increased by almost five percentage points, compared to the previous year.

There has been a rise of 72 sexual crimes, however recorded rapes and attempted rapes have fallen from 228 to 182.

The past 12 months have seen the country subject to COVID lockdown restrictions and during this time 803 fewer crimes were reported.

There has been a rise in domestic abuse offences, with crimes against women rising from 67 to 108. One further domestic crime against a man has also been recorded.

Recorded violent crime remains consistent within the division, however, murders have fallen from three to one.

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Nationally, there were a total of 1,966 child sexual abuse crimes recorded during the year, an increase of 5.9% compared to last year (1,857), but within the division, incidents of taking, possessing and distributing indecent images of children fell from 45 to 33 reports.

The Lothians and Scottish Borders remain robust in their pursuit of such offenders, with crimes of taking, possessing and distributing indecent images of children rising from 50 to 72.

Also mirroring the national picture, the division has seen a continued rise in fraud offences, with reports increasing from 827 to 1284.

Within the Lothians and Scottish Borders, there has been 35% increase in bail offences detected and this is attributed to the division’s intelligence-led approach to pursuing repeat offenders.

Road safety and casualty reduction remains a priority for the division and the number of casualties is down from 758, to 443. This includes three fewer fatal collisions.

Another local priority is tackling drug crime within the region’s many communities and this focus has resulted in an increase in drugs supply detections by 58%.

Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, Divisional Commander for the Lothians and Scottish Borders, said:

“Through our engagement with the public, tackling drug crime, addressing repeat offending and reducing violence were identified as some of our top priorities.

“Despite the challenges of the past year we are addressing these issues and the reduction in crime numbers, along with rising detection rate is encouraging. However, I recognise that this data reflects a period where lockdown restrictions were in place.

“As DCC Taylor has stated, with COVID restrictions continuing to ease, we will continue to report on changes to the policing requirements of communities and the challenges of maintaining higher detection rates in the context of reported crime, which is closer to pre-pandemic levels.

“I am very proud that our efforts have resulted in a rise in public confidence in policing that was highlighted in the Your Police survey.

“I want to reassure all residents within the Lothians and Scottish Borders that we will continue to work hard and use all resources at our disposal to reduce crime, enhance detection rates and keep the division a safe place to live, work and visit.”

The 2020-21 Q4 Performance Report will be presented to the Scottish Police Authority’s Policing Performance Committee on Tuesday, 8 June.

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