Stats anger politicians
Sex crime across Ayrshire has soared over the past year, shock new figures reveal.
The number of crimes of indecency reported to police shot up from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, to 1259.
This compares to 1187 from April 1 2016 to March 31, 2017.
A total of 130 rapes were reported to police in 2017/ 18 compared to 76for the previous 12 months.
The latest full- year figures are equivalent to more than two rapes being reported to police across the county every week.
Sex crimes rose from 540 in 2016/ 17 to 694 2017/ 18.
Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock MP Bill Grant ( below) slammed the poor conviction rates for sex crime and called for urgent action to tackle “Scotland’s softtouch justice system”.
He said: “On the face of it, these increases in sex crime and violent crime are shocking and some cases will have a lifelong impact for the victims and for the families of all those involved.
“However, I think we need to look beyond the statistics and ask a number of questions as to why the rise may have occurred.
“Is media coverage of high profile cases encouraging victims not to be afraid to come forward? Are the police now perceived as being more prepared to listen and to take appropriate action? Do adverse childhood experiences ( ACEs) play a part in these shocking statistics?
“I am aware that the local Police Commander is eager to embed the aspect of ACEs into police procedures.
“It appears that conviction rates for alleged rape and sex crime incidents are poor.
“Scotland’s soft- touch justice system needs to be reviewed to ascertain why this is the case, appropriate support has to be provided for those going through such criminal proceedings and when cases are proven against perpetrators of these wicked crimes, then the punishment should truly reflect the horror of such crimes “
Central Ayrshire MP Philippa Whitford was alarmed by the sharp increase.
She said: “Obviously these figures are concerning but, without further analysis, it is not possible to know what proportion of these sexual crimes is current and what proportion is historical.
“Nor without detailed research do we know whether the # MeToo campaign has encouraged more women to come forward.
“Nonetheless, it is clear there is a problem.
The risk of sexual assault is influenced by how women are viewed, treated and respected by our society, and this is something we need to tackle through education.”
Busy police It is thought more sex crimes are being reported because of the # MeToo campaign Philippa Whitford “Obviously these figures are concerning”