Police chief's vow as rapes in city fall 40%

THE number of reported rapes in Glasgow has fallen by 40%, police figures show.

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Cases of rape in Glasgow have fallen by 40%
Cases of rape in Glasgow have fallen by 40%

And arrests for sex offences in the city are up 18% in the first year of the national police force.

The news was revealed as detectives continue to hunt the attackers behind two separate rapes in the city.

Detective Superintendent Peter McPike, who heads Glasgow's divisional investigation team, says he and his detectives are committed to tracking down all perpetrators.

The Glasgow team consists of 25 staff, including Solos - sexual offence liaison officers.

Mr McPike said: "I understand that people are concerned about recent incidents and I understand it might well give the impression the number of rapes are increasing - but that is not the case.

"One person raped is one too many, but what has happened in the last few weeks has been unusual. The number of rapes reported are down 40%."

Recent attacks include a gang rape in Toryglen, a sex attack on a 24-year-old woman in Govanhill, and an alleged rape in the Merchant City area on June 8. Mr McPike stressed there was "no evidence whatsoever" to link the incidents.

Police Scotland recently made major changes to the way serious sex crime is investigated, with a greater focus on the wellbeing of victims.

Before the dedicated unit was launched, sexual crime was dealt with by general CID officers.

Police in Glasgow say almost 30 culprits were apprehended for sex attacks this year, against 25 in the previous 12 months.

Recently, there was fierce criticism that police "aren't doing enough" but almost 80% of culprits have been caught.

Mr McPike said: "Our arrest figures are also up 18% from last year and our detection rate is currently 78%.

"It is very unusual to see incidents so close together as we have done recently."

"Officers investigating these crimes are specially trained to deal with these particular circumstances.

"They are dedicated and determined to seek justice for the victims and are committed to finding those responsible."

His comments came after thousands of people took part in a midnight march in the south side of the city. Organisers said they were tired of being told they should not go out at night alone.

Mr McPike added: "I am aware the recent incidents are causing concern.

"However, we have had, and will continue to have, additional patrols in these areas providing reassurance to people.

"It is not acceptable that people, especially women, should live their lives in a state of perpetual vigilance, or be responsible for the actions of others.

"Our message is clear: responsibility for sexual violence lies with the perpetrators. This predatory and exploitative behaviour has to stop."

rebecca.gray@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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