Po­lice are ded­i­cated to in­ves­ti­gat­ing sex­ual of­fences

Evening Express (City Final) - - UK & Abroad -

ACROSS Scot­land there has been an in­crease in vic­tims com­ing for­ward to the po­lice re­port­ing non-re­cent rapes.

This is partly due to an in­creased con­fi­dence in the po­lice re­sponse to vic­tims and the knowl­edge that crimes will be thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated.

The fact that women and men feel con­fi­dent to re­port non re­cent sex­ual of­fences or rape some­times decades af­ter the event is seen, within the po­lice, as a pos­i­tive step. These are chal­leng­ing in­quiries due to the pas­sage of time since the events and lack of foren­sic ev­i­dence, how­ever, the peo­ple re­spon­si­ble may have com­mit­ted sim­i­lar crimes against other vic­tims, mean­ing they can be pros­e­cuted.

We are com­mit­ted to thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gat­ing any rape or sex­ual crime re­ported to po­lice re­gard­less of when it took place. There is now more un­der­stand­ing about what con­sti­tutes rape, which in­cludes cir­cum­stances where some­one is asleep, if they are too drunk to be able to con­sent, or if they say no at any point dur­ing sex and the other per­son con­tin­ues. When a rape is re­ported to po­lice we will take ini­tial de­tails of the in­ci­dent and, where ap­pro­pri­ate, ar­range for a foren­sic med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion to be car­ried out by trained med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als.

A full state­ment will need to be ob­tained and this is done at a time and place to suit the vic­tim and, if re­quired, a friend/ fam­ily mem­ber or coun­sel­lor can pro­vide sup­port.

A trained Sex­ual Of­fences Li­ai­son Of­fi­cer is al­lo­cated to ev­ery vic­tim. They help the vic­tim through the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, en­sur­ing they un­der­stand the pro­cesses that are fol­lowed, as well as putting any safety mea­sures in place for the vic­tim. Of­fi­cers will also help put vic­tims in touch with part­ner agen­cies that pro­vide full sup­port and as­sis­tance such as Rape Cri­sis Grampian, med­i­cal sup­port through the NHS, or any­thing else re­quired, for ex­am­ple Aberdeen City Coun­cil so­cial work and hous­ing de­part­ments.

The unit is com­prised of de­tec­tive of­fi­cers, all ex­pe­ri­enced in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of se­ri­ous sex­ual of­fences, who will con­duct an ex­ten­sive and thor­ough in­quiry into ev­ery crime. The ear­lier a rape is re­ported to the po­lice, the more chance there is of ob­tain­ing foren­sic ev­i­dence. The ad­vances in foren­sic science, and in par­tic­u­lar the field of DNA, pro­vides ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­ni­ties to ob­tain all avail­able ev­i­dence where they are re­ported up to a week af­ter the crime has hap­pened.

Even if a crime is not re­ported quickly, DNA can also be re­cov­ered from cloth­ing a sig­nif­i­cant time af­ter the event. How­ever, I would again add that Po­lice Scot­land is fully com­mit­ted to in­ves­ti­gat­ing all re­ports of rape whether they are re­cent or his­toric. Vic­tims will al­ways be treated with re­spect and dig­nity dur­ing any con­tact with the po­lice.

If you have been the vic­tim of rape, con­tact the po­lice on 101 or 999 in an emer­gency and spe­cial­ist of­fi­cers will deal with the com­plaint.

Vic­tims will al­ways be treated with re­spect

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