South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway sex crime report rise due to 'public confidence'

A rise in sex crimes being reported in south west Scotland has been attributed to "high public confidence" in how they will be handled.

A report by police in Dumfries and Galloway showed 532 incidents reported between April 2018 and March this year.

It is an increase of 14% on the previous 12 months and 48% on the five-year average.

However, police said crimes had gone unreported in the past and they were encouraged by the increased reporting.

Complex investigations

They acknowledged that the "significant increase" in reported crimes had seen a reduction in detection rates.

"There are a number of factors that impact on detection rates, such as the complexities of rape and sexual crime investigations and more challenging investigative and forensic options and considerations relating to non-recent sexual crimes," said the report.

It stressed that detection rates - 63.5% in 2018/19 compared with 64.6% in 2017/18 - remained high.

The report also showed that the number of reported domestic abuse incidents and crimes and the associated detection rate remained "consistent" with the "highest conversion rate from incidents to crimes in Scotland".

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