By Bill Heaney
Jackie Baillie has told of her deep concern for victims of crime as it emerged the number of sexual assaults in both West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute is rising.
The latest crime figures release by the Scottish Government highlighted that in both local authority areas there had been an increase in sexual assault. There were 96 incidents in West Dunbartonshire in the past year, representing an increase of more than a third on the previous 12 months. In Argyll and Bute, there were 101 sexual assaults, up a quarter on the previous 12 months and representing an astonishing 66 percent rise since 2018.
In West Dunbartonshire, incidents under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 have stayed at the same level over the past three years however non-sexual violence is up 41 percent this year compared to the previous 12 months.
In Argyll and Bute, fraud has increased by an incredible 263 percent since 2018, rising from 52 incidents four years ago to 189 in the past year.
Dumbarton constituency MSP Jackie Baillie said: “I am deeply concerned for the victims of crime locally and the fact that sexual assaults are on the rise in our local communities.
“The SNP Government’s press release claims that people are feeling safer in their communities but the local statistics tell a very different story. Indeed, the National Records of Scotland attribute the drop in the overall number of offences directly to fewer contraventions of Coronavirus laws.
“This stunning complacency by the SNP who are patting themselves on the back for a job well done is a gross insult to victims and shows they don’t grasp the scale of the challenge we face.
“We need a real plan to keep our communities safe and prevent these violent and sexual crimes, but instead the SNP spin machine is in overdrive as they forge on with dangerous plans to inflict real terms cuts to policing budgets.”
She refused to go through with the proposals to deal with the low conviction rates for rape. She and others excused themselves on the grounds it would lead to miscarriages of justice and wrongful convictions. I pointed out in the local press and the Sunday Herald that was no problem in salmon fisheries law. Women’s groups in Glasgow took me up on that, saying the salmon were better protected than women. That wasn’t far off, though it wasn’t the fish….it was the salmon fisheries’ owners and managers and their legal rights to fish that was at issue. The salmon in the river are are not owned. They’re a natural heritage issue. Of course, I also got zero support from the local femcels and others, hereabouts. I handed a copy of that into Womens’ Aid in Clydebank. No doubt if you made life hard for rapists that would put some people out of a job and Gov/corporate funding. Capitalist logic. You don’t want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. So, keep those head choppers coming and the blood money flowing.