Around 40% of reported sex crimes are historic offences, Tayside’s chief police officer has revealed.
Chief Superintendent Eddie Smith hailed the confidence people now have to come forward and speak out against abuse suffered.
Tayside is now at a stage where more people than any other region in Scotland, outside Greater Glasgow, are coming forward to report indecent offences from the past.
Police Scotland figures show that, in the past 12 months, the number of reported crimes in Tayside has fallen by 5%.
While that overall picture looks rosier with housebreaking in particular plummeting 36% crimes of violence rose by 8% and sexual crimes rocketed 31%.
Mr Smith said: “Reports of domestic abuse and sexual crime have gone up but it is not necessarily a bad thing.
“Of course it is bad that crime is going up but these very often are under the radar and don’t go reported, so it tells us the public have the confidence to report these types of crimes to us.
“When they report them to us we work in partnership with other agencies to deliver a quality service to the victims and clearly that’s a message that’s getting out there and registering with the public, and victims in particular. It’s a significant number that actually are historic.
“We class historic as six months and older and we in the Tayside Division have a significant number of crimes that fall into that category in fact, more so than any other division in Scotland, with the exception of Glasgow.
“That’s testament to the hard work of our partners as well, like Women’s Aid, Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre Dundee and other support agencies, because it means their message is getting out there.”
Mr Smith also praised the work of his officers and claimed that residents across Tayside were happy with the service they receive from the force.
He said: “What we find when we carry out any surveys of the public is that they are happy with the services being provided in Tayside Division and they feel safer.”