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Rise in sexual crimes

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By Newsdesk
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Rise in sexual crimes

REPORTS of common assaults and sexual crimes are up in the region, new figures released by Police Scotland this week show.

Recorded incidents of indecent sexual assaults are up by 36 in the area and mirror the national picture where overall sexual crime is up 13.4 per cent year on year and up 17.3 per cent on the five year average.

The figures for what the police force called a “highly demanding” summer period also showed 42 more crimes of common assault recorded in Dumfries and Galloway, a rise which it said was also in line with national statistics.

It added that the rise was being driven by the re-opening of licensed premises and more large gatherings.

According to the latest Performance Report there were 72 fewer crimes of common theft and 45 more incidents of theft by shoplifting against the same period last year.

While total drugs crimes are up by 129, detections are also up by 66 and that number is expected to rise following results of toxicology tests.

Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Carol McGuire said: “These latest figures will inform local policing action plans to address priority areas and improve the well-being of our communities.

“Dumfries and Galloway’s Alcohol and Drugs Partnership has been working incredibly hard to address and support the issue of drugs use in the area and a recent multi-agency campaign delivered a new dedicated website to help in that regard.

“The rise in sexual crime is an indication that people are feeling more confident in reporting it to us and I welcome that trend. We take all reports of sexual assault very seriously whether these are historic or recent – time is no barrier to reporting.”

She added that demand and challenges in Police Scotland’s Contact, Command and Control Division had led to increased 101 average answer times “as we continue to prioritise emergency 999 calls” and that a range of measures were being introduced to tackle this.

Meanwhile the national festive drink/drug driving campaign has recently been launched to try and keep the region safe, she added.

The report shows recorded crime for types that typically contain an ‘online element’ – fraud, threats and extortion, communications and image offences, and stalking – have increased by more than 60% since 2018-19.

It is available online and includes concerns raised by members of a public in a survey, and describes some of the work under way in relation to these matters, including the ThatGuy sexual offending prevention campaign.

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