Historical sex offence reports on the decline in Dundee may signal an end to the ‘Jimmy Savile effect’.
More victims have been given the confidence to come forward, knowing they will be listened to, following the revelations about the late DJ’s sex crimes.
In Dundee the majority of reported sex offences are historical, but the number is starting to decline. Overall the city saw a fall, with 21.4% fewer crimes of indecency from April to June this year compared to the same period last year.
Chief Inspector for Partnerships in Dundee, David McIntosh, said: “Crimes of indecency have been steadily increasing over the past five years, largely due to an increased awareness and adult survivors of historical abuse feeling ready to come forward.
“The number of historical crimes, which makes up the majority of these crimes, has come down.
“It might be too early to say we have seen an end to the Jimmy Savile effect, but it has been good that people have come forward and reported things that happened in the past.
“Victims have been identifying themselves and getting support.”
While the number of rape reports were also down, CI McIntosh said the reduction in the detection rates (52.2% this year compared to 55% last year) reflects the complexities of investigating historical crimes.
He said: “Detection rates for current sexual offences is very high, but is lower for historical offences, which reflects the challenges in getting prosecutions.
“Sometimes we have reports where people are no longer living, but in those cases it is more about giving support to victims.”
Investigations of both historical and current sexual abuse are given the same priority, but with older cases there are challenges, such as DNA evidence being impossible to obtain.
CI McIntosh added: “I would much rather have every single crime reported, even if we can’t detect the perpetrator anymore, because then we can do everything we can to make sure every victim feels supported.”
Anyone who needs support because of sexual abuse can contact police or alternatively Rape Crisis Scotland offers confidential support to those affected by sexual violence on 08088 010302 from 6pm to midnight.