Police are dedicated to investigating sexual offences
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