Taskforce to deal with soaring sex cyber crime as young women suffer
A former Crown Office boss will lead a taskforce set up to prevent sexual crime involving young Scots.
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said Catherine Dyer would bring a “wealth of experience” as he announced the appointment to MSPS at Holyrood.
The expert group was created in response to recent research showing the number of sexual cyber crimes recorded by police has soared over the past three years.
More than three-quarters of victims are female and more than half are under 16. The expert group will bring together voices that include the Scottish Youth Parliament, Youth Link and Rape Crisis Scotland. The first meeting will take place early next year.
The announcement was welcomed by MSPS.
Mr Matheson said: “Advances in technology are greatly beneficial for the way we all live our lives, but also present new risks for harm. We have responded through new laws criminalising the sharing of intimate images as well as strong public information campaigns.
“Prevention is key, with figures showing more must be done for young people now. In the last year, more than 80 per cent of victims of online sexual crime were female, with an average age of 14, and 96 per cent of perpetrators were male. We need to better understand why some young men are motivated to behave in this way and how we can prevent it.”
Ms Dyer, who chaired a review of child protection systems in 2014, said: “Sharing understanding of the nature and causes of behaviours that affect children and young people in the digital age, and creating solutions to reduce the numbers of harmful incidents, is clearly a priority.”