By Bill Heaney

Jackie Baillie has demanded action following a “worrying” rise in the number of sexual offences being committed in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute over the last decade.

Figures released this week show that sexual crimes have risen by 82 percent in West Dunbartonshire and 66 percent in Argyll and Bute since 2013.

In Argyll and Bute alone, which incorporates the Helensburgh and Lomond area, reports of rape and attempted rape have increased by a shocking 200 percent over that period.

Meanwhile serious assault and attempted murder in West Dunbartonshire has increased by a quarter in a decade.

Labour’s Dame Jackie Baillie and LibDem Justice spokesperson Liam McArthur.

In both local authority areas which Dame Jackie’s Dumbarton constituency covers, fraud has increased significantly with a 150 percent rise in Argyll and Bute and an increase of 82 percent in West Dunbartonshire.

Jackie Baillie, pictured above, said: “The SNP government must urgently investigate what has led to this significant rise in sexual crime in our local communities.  The figures which have been released are incredibly worrying.

“Behind each of these statistics is a victim who has suffered as a result and they deserve to see action being taken to prevent more people going through the same ordeal that they have.

“Sex crimes have soared over the last decade and not nearly enough progress has been made in trying to prevent these from happening in the first place.

“The SNP-Green government must leave no stone unturned when keeping Scots safe and ensuring our justice system can both prevent and prosecute these abhorrent crimes.”

Meanwhile, commenting on new recorded crime figures which show that sexual crimes are up 70% since 2013/14, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur said: “There is major work still to be done to get justice for victims of sexual crimes.

“Key to that will be driving down court backlogs so that people do not fear their case will drag on for years.

“Police officers and staff work tirelessly to keep our communities safe but it’s clear that a lack of resources and the loss of valuable civilian expertise has had a significant impact. Victims must have confidence that their cases will be dealt with swiftly and sensitively.

“The new Justice Secretary must look again at whether our police and courts have the resources they need to get the job done.”

On rising levels of cyber crime including an estimated 3,830 sexual crimes which were cyber-crimes such as disclosing or threatening to disclose intimate images, he added:

“New technology brings with it new challenges. So much of our lives are lived online but with that comes fresh opportunities for scammers, extortionists and abusers.

“The Scottish Government must ensure that officers have the tools, time and expertise to ensure these crimes are properly pursued.”

One comment

  1. Trouble is, they ignored eight crimes that we reported. The police charged someone under the mental health act, but was told by the Mental Welfare Commission not to prosecute. What’s that about ? Also, the Dame, gave away all my human rights when passing legislation which is illegal. That’s right, a crime was committed. By the Dame. But the legislation is just too complicated for Holyrood.

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