Dramatic rise in reported rapes in East Lothian

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There has been a dramatic rise in reported rapes in East Lothian.

Management information statistics, which cover the first year of Police Scotland and are compared to previous Scottish Government recorded crime figures, have been published.

One of Police Scotland’s key priorities is tackling sexual crime, and the detection rate for sexual offences in East Lothian increased to 72.5 per cent. There were 35 rapes reported, an increase of 20 on the previous year, but again there was a high detection rate of 71.4 per cent and a number of those reported were historical.

“The fact that more people have come forward to report sexual crimes in East Lothian shows an increased public confidence in policing,” explained Chief Inspector Andy Clark.

Crimes of dishonesty - including common theft, shoplifting, house-breaking and motor-vehicle related theft - were up 12.3%, and Police Scotland is committed to bringing that figure down again in the coming year following the launch of Operation RAC, a dedicated unit to tackle such offences.

The number of serious assaults in East Lothian has decreased in the past 12 months. They show that 36 fewer assaults were reported in the past year across the Lothians and Scottish Borders and that, in East Lothian specifically, serious assaults decreased by 53.3 per cent. There were 21 serious assaults recorded in East Lothian in 2013/14, compared to 45 in 2012/13.

Overall violent crime in East Lothian has decreased by 7.1 per cent, with 78 such crimes reported in the past year as compared to 84 in the previous 12 months.

The area has also seen a strong performance on detecting violent crime, with the detection rate increasing by 3.4 per cent.

There was a 12.5 per cent decrease in robberies in East Lothian in 2013/14 compared to last year, while there was a small increase (5.1 per cent) in the number of casualties on the roads.

Chief Inspector Clark, who recently took over the post of local area commander for East Lothian from Chief Inspector Colin Brown, has welcomed the report.

He said: “Colin Brown, my predecessor, has clearly done a very good job developing local policing in East Lothian because the figures that have been released today are encouraging.

“They show a consistency of service in this area and illustrate that officers in East Lothian are dedicated to seeking out criminal activity where incidents are reported.

“I am committed to finding out more about the various communities in East Lothian and understanding what their crime profiles are, and these management information statistics provide a very solid foundation for me and my officers to build on.”

The full management information statistics are available now on the Police Scotland website. For full details go to www.scotland.police.uk/about-us/our-performance

Iain Gray MSP said: “These figures cover the first full year since Scotland’s national police force was established. One of the concerns about moving to a national force was the potential loss of local focus for policing in different communities. While it is probably too early to reach any definite conclusions, these figures do help with understanding of what has been happening on

reported crime and detection rates across the country.

“There are certainly some positives for East Lothian, particularly the reduction in violent crime. But the standout concern has to be the large increase in the number of housebreakings locally over the last year. Prevention is clearly vital to tackling this type of crime. Residents should take appropriate steps to safeguard their properties and belongings and make it as hard as possible for criminals to commit this sort of crime.

“However, I will also be speaking to local police about this worrying increase and will ask them what action they are taking to combat it. Break-ins should not be regarded as merely a property crime because the impact they have on the individuals and families affected can be devastating. Local people will want to be reassured that catching and prosecuting those who commit housebreaking crimes remains a priority for Police Scotland.”

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