Sexual assaults figures fall in Forth Valley

New statistics show the number of reported sexual and serious assaults in the Forth Valley have decreased in the last year.

Police Scotland’s Management Information figures show between April and December 2019, the number of rapes reported to officers in the division had fallen by 17 per cent, while indecent and sexual assaults were 30 per cent lower than the same period last year.

A total of 79 crimes were recorded under new domestic abuse legislation covering coercive and controlling behaviour and this accounted for an overall rise in violent crime in the division.

When domestic incidents are removed from the rise in violent offences, the figures show that four more crimes occurred, compared with the previous year.

Chief superintendent Alan Gibson, divisional commander for Forth Valley, said: “We have made some encouraging steps in tackling some very significant criminal offences. It is very positive to note serious assaults and sexual crimes such as sexual assault, indecent assault and rape have all fallen.

“Within our busy town and city centres, we have regular deployments of officers to deter such offences and provide a visible and reassuring presence to our communities.

“We also take robust action against perpetrators of these offences and it is my hope that such action serves as a warning to others who may have looked to commit similar incidents.

“While each area of Forth Valley, like each area of Scotland, is different, we know 60 per cent of violent crimes involves alcohol and occur during the weekend, predominantly within private residences.

“It is essential, therefore, we continue to work with relevant partners to tackle alcohol and substance addiction and signpost individuals to the relevant support agencies, while at the same time investigating all crimes with the utmost professionalism and thoroughness to provide justice for victims.”

Across Scotland, more than 1300 crimes were recorded under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, which created a single offence which covers the full range of abusive behaviours whether physical, psychological, financial or sexual.

The figures on violent crime show approximately 1.6 per cent of Scotland’s population have been subject to a single violent incident, with many victims being repeat complainers.

The percentage of the population which has never experienced violence is 97 per cent.