The County You Live, Work And Play
Majority Of Sex Crimes Committed In East Kilbride
The number of rapes in East Kilbride has more than doubled in the last year. Under a Freedom of Information request to Police Scotland, it was revealed there were 13 rapes and two assaults with intent to rape in the town from December 2014 - December 2015.
Alarmingly, sexual assaults are also up six per cent with 33 incidents recorded. There were also three indecent assaults and 19 other sexual offences committed.
A total of 70 sex crimes were recorded in East Kilbride – an increase of nearly 30 per cent on the previous year.
In stark contrast, in neighbouring Strathaven, there has been a 100 per cent drop in rape crime year on year – there were six incidents in 2013-14.
It should be noted these figures are for crime detections, prior to prosecution by the courts.
There were a total of 522 crimes of violence in East Kilbride in the last year.
There was one murder and four attempted murders – doubling from two to four – one abduction and 28 serious assaults.
However there has been a huge drop in reports of child cruelty in the last 12 months – from 13 to three (77 per cent).
A total of 358 were minor assaults – down 15 per cent – and 116 minor assaults of an emergency worker – a decrease of six per cent.
Overall crime is down nearly 10 per cent with a total of 592 crimes of violence and sexual crimes compared with 655 from 2013-14.
In Strathaven overall crime is also down 25 per cent with a total of 50 crimes over the last 12 months.
There was one attempted murder, one serious assault, one assault and robbery, three sexual assaults, three other sexual offences, 34 minor assaults and seven minor assaults of an emergency worker – up 40 per cent.
For South Lanarkshire as a whole, there were 352 sex crimes investigated by police between December 2014 and 15 and 2808 crimes of violence recorded – down a total of three per cent on the previous year.
This means one fifth of sex crimes and just under one fifth of all crimes of violence in the area in South Lanarkshire are committed in East Kilbride.
Lisa Cameron MP said the figures are “very worrying”. She said: “Every one of these statistics represents individuals who have been affected by crime and obviously in some cases particularly traumatic ones.
"Recorded crime in Scotland is at a 40 year low and violent crime is down by more than 55 per cent since 2006-7, however these figures are deeply concerning and I will be writing to Police Scotland to find out what is being done locally.”
East Kilbride Police Inspector Andy Calderwood said: “Overall, reported crime across East Kilbride and Strathaven is down nearly 10 per cent, which I hope reassures you that we continue to work every day to keep you safe in your community.
"For me, this is due to a number of factors, having the right officers in the right places at the right times and the continued support we receive from the community to help us arrest those who continue to commit crime.
“We work with a number of partner agencies to ensure the highest quality of service and support is provided to victims of rape and sexual crime. In recent months we have seen an increase in this type of crime, however I believe that this is due to increased confidence among victims to come forward and report the matter to police.
“I would encourage any victims of sexual crime to come forward to police in the assurance that they will be fully supported by specially trained officers, and that we will do everything possible to ensure that the perpetrators are held to account and brought to justice.”
Lanarkshire Rape Crisis Centre deliver emotional and practical support to victims of all forms of sexual violence. They offer free and confidential emotional and practical support services to women, and girls over 12 years of age, who have been raped, sexually assaulted and/or sexually abused no matter how long ago it happened.
Centre manager Anne McGuire described the spike in sex crime in East Kilbride as “particularly concerning”. She said: “It is always alarming when we see any reports of sexual violence, and although all reports are worrying, a 30 per cent increase is particularly concerning. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, because a large number of victims do not report this type of crime for many different reasons. Therefore, the reports can be viewed as being a very positive step towards helping others to report what has happened to them.
“In 2014-2015, 34 per cent of our service users did not report sexual crimes to the police, and there was also 14 per cent that did not record this information.
“We need to take the responsibility for safety away from the potential victims, and begin to challenge existing attitudes that condone sexual violence at the earliest possible stage.
“LRCC delivers prevention workshops to young people aged between 12 and 25 years, and this has proven to be very successful to date.
“Although LRCC has limited resources we endeavour to reach as many young people as possible.”