Rape reports marked as 'no crime'

Police Scotland Police Scotland data revealed nearly 2,000 rapes were reported between April 2013 and May 2014

New figures obtained by the BBC show that in the past four years almost 1,000 reported rapes have been dropped by police and marked "no crime".

The figures, revealed by the Scotland 2014 programme, also showed significant regional variations across Scotland's new single force.

Police Scotland has made rape a high priority.

Officers said some cases were dropped because allegations were rescinded or because of insufficient evidence.

But justice sources claimed there were concerns about regional differences and why and how some cases were not passed on to prosecutors when rape conviction rates were already considered low.

No crime

In the former Grampian force area in the past four years a third of rapes (34%) against women reported to police were marked "no crime".

And more than a than a third (36%) of those recorded were unsolved.

However, in the former Lothian and Borders area just 5% were marked as "no crime" and not passed on to prosecutors.

Here, undetected crimes against women in the past four years sat at 41%.

Sandy Brindley, of Rape Crisis Scotland, said: "Rape is a very traumatic crime and it can be very difficult to decide whether or not to report it.

"No matter where somebody is in Scotland, they should be able to have confidence that if they report it, it will be treated seriously, and they will be treated with sensitivity and respect."

She said police had made a lot of steps in the right direction.

However, she added: "I think our concern from these figures is to see how many cases are not making it beyond the police stage and what that shows is a huge justice gap in Scotland for anyone who survives rape."

'Not supportive'

One woman told the BBC she did not pursue a rape case against her ex-partner.

"Kate", who cannot use her real name because of the risk from her ex-partner, said he had been convicted of assaulting her and had threatened revenge.

She said: "Five years later I was walking from my house to the local shops and he appeared from nowhere [and] raped me on waste ground,.

"His words were: 'if you tell anyone about this, these will be the last things you ever say'.

"The police came and fitted extra security to my house but the CID themselves were very unhelpful, very intimidating. Not supportive, not empathetic."

Kate said she was so afraid of his threats she did not pursue the case. And ultimately it was marked "no crime".

Det Supt Louise Raphael, of Police Scotland's National Rape Task Force, said reports of rape had risen in the first year of the new Police Scotland.

She said: "We regard this as being a positive trend given that, historically, the levels of under-reporting are unacceptably high.

"We will continue with our efforts to increase confidence in the criminal justice process and view our work with partners, particularly those that support rape victims, as being vitally important."

Detection rate

Det Supt Raphael added: "We made a commitment at the inception of Police Scotland to target rape. This resulted in a detection rate of 71.8% for the year 2013-2014, an increase of 10.4 percentage points from the previous year.

"We conduct a full review of every rape that is reported to us that does not result in a detection. In year one that amounted to over 540 cases.

"There are many reasons why crimes that are initially recorded as rape are either subsequently marked no crime or are reclassified as an alternative crime following investigation.

"Local Heads of CID ensure that this decision is appropriate in every case and that Police Scotland are fully compliant with Scottish Crime Recording Standards.

"In addition the National Rape Task Force reviews every 'no crime' incident across the force area."

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    09:35: 'Value for money'

    Responding to the Accounts Commission's warning over councils facing increasing financial pressures, the Scottish government says it continues to give councils a good deal "despite the impact of the UK government's cuts to the Scotland's budget".

    A spokesperson added: "Local authorities have a duty to use resources as efficiently and effectively as possible to ensure taxpayers get the best possible services and value for money. We would expect all councillors to consider this report and any necessary action to implement its recommendations."

    Text using 80295 Favourite books - Your views

    Margaret, Inverness: Gervase Phinn's autobiographical books make me laugh. Next best thing to good company. It's worthwhile joining a local library.

    09:17: Favourite books - Get involved Kenneth Macdonald BBC Scotland Special Correspondent

    We're asking for your all-time favourite reads?

    Ken says: "Lanark by Alasdair Gray, and The Plot Against America by Philip Roth..."

    09:05: Dundee V&A work...

    Construction work has begun on building the new V&A museum of design in Dundee.


    The long-delayed project has seen its budget almost double to more than £80m.

    Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who designed the building, visited Dundee to mark the construction work getting under way.

    If all goes to schedule in BAM Construction's project, the building will be complete by the end of 2017. The museum could then be open by June 2018.

    08:53: Favourite books - Get involved

    It's World Book Day.

    Every year thousands of bookworms celebrate World Book Day by dressing up as characters from their favourite books.

    Here at Scotland Live towers, we did see someone in reception this morning who looked like the Gruffalo but we're unsure if the poor chap was just in urgent need of his first coffee of the day...

    Family reading books/annuals

    What's your favourite book of all time?

    If you had to take one book to a desert island, what would you choose? Are you working through a list of "must reads"?

    The Scotland Live team are currently ploughing through: Wolf Hall, a David Sedaris novel Me Talk Pretty One Day and The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas.

    Share your suggestions for favourite books/literary characters etc and send in your pictures of dressing up on World Book Day - we'll showcase the best.

    Text using 80295, tweet @bbcscotlandnews or email us here.

    Or, you can visit our Facebook page.

    08:45: Marischal Square special meeting

    A final effort to halt the controversial Marischal Square office and shopping development in Aberdeen will be made later.

    Marischal Sq

    The opposition SNP group requested the special meeting - though much of it is likely to take place behind closed doors as legal advice is given and debated.

    It follows a heated campaign against the office, retail and hotel scheme which is due to start construction this month.

    08:34: Councils face more budget pressures

    Scotland's councils will face financial pressures "of a scale not previously experienced" in the coming years, the public spending watchdog says.

    The Accounts Commission said councils had coped well so far with cuts to their funding.

    Council services

    But it warned that budgets would become even tighter in the future.

    And it said council debt repayments to the private sector would peak at a time when they are set to face unprecedented demand for services.

    08:25: General Election 2015: 'Tough fight' for Labour BBC Radio Scotland

    Professor John Curtice says Labour has a tough fight ahead in the General Election.

    John curtice

    His comments come after new polling by Tory peer Lord Ashcroft suggested big gains for the SNP at May's election.

    Prof Curtice told Good Morning Scotland: "The message to take away here is not necessarily, for example, that the SNP are going to win Gordon Brown's Kirkcaldy seat, but the message we should take away is it is going to be a tough fight in that seat and many other Labour held seats across Scotland."

    08:19: Where's wabbit?

    Hillwalkers are being asked to help record sightings of one of the UK's most elusive animals.

    Blue hare

    Mountain hares - also known as blue hares - change colour from brown to white to better camouflage themselves against winter snow.

    Scottish Natural Heritage, the James Hutton Institute, and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust are trying to make a count of Scotland's blue hares - the only hare native to Britain.

    08:06: Stamp honour

    An iconic Scottish bridge has been celebrated in a new set of Royal Mail stamps.

    Craigellachie Bridge stamp

    The Craigellachie Bridge in Speyside was built by Thomas Telford more than 200 years ago.

    Andrew Hammond, head of stamps and collectibles at Royal Mail, said of the 10 selections: "The story of Britain's engineering genius can be found in its bridges."

    07:55: Portraits of people with sight loss

    An exhibition of portraits of blind and partially-sighted people living in Scotland has launched in Edinburgh.

    Its subjects include politicians, cafe managers and authors.

    Photographer Trudy Stade stands in front of her portrait of Jamie MacDonald, who inspired her project

    The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Scotland said that Connecting Visions aims to challenge perceptions of people with sight loss as "passive and dependent."

    Visitors will also be able to try on special spectacles that simulate different sight loss conditions.

    Photographer Trudy Stade was inspired to start the project after watching the comedian Jamie MacDonald, who is blind, perform.

    Email: newsolinescotland@bbc.co.uk @bbcscotlandnews 07:49: 'Is the feline fit like?'

    New film The Voices has a cat that talks with a Scottish accent. He is voiced by the movie's lead, Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds.

    Ryan Reynolds

    The ginger tom called Mr Whiskers is the latest movie character to be portrayed as Scots but played by a non-Scot.

    Find more examples here.

    What others can you think of and how did they do?

    07:40: Arts festival line-up

    Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival line-up has been unveiled.

    Bella Hardy

    The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli will be among the headliners and award-winning folk singer Bella Hardy will also feature.

    Eighty two acts will perform at 42 venues across the south-west over 10 days at the end of May.

    The event, which is in its 36th year, will also feature performances by the award-winning folk singer Bella Hardy and Scotland's Makar Liz Lochhead.

    Organisers have pledged to showcase world-class music, theatre, comedy and literature in towns, villages and remote rural areas across the region.

    07:34: Fife Biomass plant opens

    A combined heat and power biomass plant on the site of a Fife-based paper maker is to open later.

    Biomass plant

    Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP will open the RWE's Markinch Biomass plant in Glenrothes.

    It replaces the former 1950s coal and gas-fired power station on the site of Tullis Russell.

    The new facility is already providing all of Tullis Russell's electricity and steam requirements, with excess electricity generation being fed into local networks.

    07:30: Swanson stunner floors Celtic

    Danny Swanson's stunning strike secured a 1-0 victory for St Johnstone last night to consign Celtic to a first league defeat in nine games and end an 11-game unbeaten run.

    Danny Swanson celebrates what proved to be the winner at Celtic Park

    Swanson's effort moves Tommy Wright's troops back into the top six, while league leaders Celtic remain six points clear of nearest challengers Aberdeen.

    07:22: Harris hawks concern

    Police are searching for two Harris hawks stolen from a bird of prey centre near Balloch.


    Staff at the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre discovered the break-in on Tuesday morning.

    There is growing concern about the wellbeing of the birds: a four-and-a-half-year-old female called Camay and a two-and-a half-year-old male named Terco.

    @BBCDouglasF Powered up Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    Aggreko temp power supplier, Glasgow/Dumbarton: flat revenue, profit -13% on currency shifts: powered Glasgow Commonwealth Games + FIFA World Cup.

    @BBCTravelScot Wind caution BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Roads: 40mph speed restriction on the A90 Forth Road Bridge because of the wind.

    Ferries: Disruption to Cal Mac's Barra and South Uist service.

    Coll and Tiree ferries have been cancelled.

    Sound of Harris crossing and Iona on amber alert.

    07:12: Tune in...

    For the latest analysis on this morning's biggest stories, including developments at Rangers, tune into BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland.

    Good Morning Scotland

    Listen live to the programme here.

    07:09: Scotland's cricket World Cup hopes dashed

    Kyle Coetzer scored Scotland's first World Cup century but their tournament hopes were ended with a six-wicket loss to Bangladesh in Nelson.

    Scotland can no longer qualify for the knockout stages after losing their fourth match out of four in Pool A.

    Scotland's wicketkeeper Matthew Cross

    Coetzer's 156 was the best World Cup score by an associate nation batsman and helped his team post 318-8 - their highest score against a Test side.

    But Tamim Iqbal (95) led Bangladesh to victory with 11 balls to spare.

    "It's very tough to take," Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said. "We did a lot of things right today but unfortunately we couldn't put the full package together.

    "Unfortunately, we just couldn't create enough chances to get 10 wickets."

    The Scots face the daunting task of taking on Sri Lanka and Australia in their remaining group matches.

    07:06: Return of the King delayed?

    Dave King has revealed - as dealing in the club's shares were suspended - he will delay becoming Rangers chairman, should he win a shareholder vote.

    It follows the resignation of the club's nominated advisor, WH Ireland, ahead of Friday's extraordinary meeting at the Scottish Championship club.

    Dave King

    South Africa-based King is hoping to oust the present board.

    But his ally, Paul Murray, would become interim chairman until regulators approve his fellow shareholder's role.

    Question marks have been raised about King's involvement following his conviction for tax offences in South Africa.

    @BBCScotWeather Heavy rain BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    A cloudy day. Rain in the north-west, heavy at times with strong south-westerly winds. Driest & brightest in the north-east. Milder for all at 9C to 12C.

    07:02: SNP 'could oust Charles Kennedy' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    The SNP could win the safest Labour seat in Scotland at the general election and oust former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, a poll by a Tory peer suggests.

    Polls in eight Scottish constituencies carried out by Lord Ashcroft predict that six could go to the SNP.

    Charles Kennedy

    They include Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath where the former prime minister Gordon Brown is standing down.

    Mr Brown had a majority of 23,000 in the Fife seat at the 2010 election.

    An SNP victory is also predicted in Edinburgh South West, where the former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling, who led the Better Together campaign against independence, is retiring from Westminster.

    Charles Kennedy is predicted to lose to the SNP in Ross, Skye and Lochaber, where he has been the MP since 1983 and is defending a majority of 13,000.

    07:00: Here we go... Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and a warm welcome to Thursday's edition of Scotland Live.



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