Police in drive to cut rape figures

Stephen House. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Stephen House. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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POLICESCOTLAND have unveiled the latest phase of a hard-hitting anti-rape campaign aimed at men as young as 16 – while warning the crime remains under-reported in the Capital.

A new advertisement, which will only be broadcast after the 9pm watershed on television, shows a man trying to undress a young woman against her will after they kiss.

The clip – which will also be shown in cinemas and online – carries the slogan: “A kiss isn’t a green light to do what you want. Sex without consent is rape.”

The campaign is targeted at men aged between 16 and 27; an age group which is responsible for more than one-third of rapes reported in Scotland.

Meanwhile, staff at pubs and clubs across Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland are undergoing “bystander training” which helps them recognise when they could intervene to prevent someone becoming the victim of a sexual assault.

Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Sir Stephen House launched the latest phase of the “We Can Stop It” campaign at the Butterfly and Pig bar in Glasgow yesterday, where staff were completing the training.

He said: “Sex without consent is rape. There are no excuses. If someone is drunk or drugged, they cannot give consent.

“We Can Stop It sends a very clear message: we can and we must prevent rape and sexual assault. Police Scotland is working closely with partners to raise awareness and tackle the life-changing impact of sexual crime.”

Sir Stephen added: “But we know this is an under-reported crime. We want to encourage people to come forward and to report.”

During 2014-15, Police Scotland recorded 1797 rapes, an increase of 91 on the previous year. The detection rate was 74 per cent. Last year, Rape Crisis reported that it had seen a 35 per cent increase in the number of victims going on to report to the police.

More than half of all rapes reported in the Capital in 2014-2015 were historic cases, while reports of all indecent crimes hiked by a fifth.

City police received 207 reports of rape in 2014-2015 – 95 of which were alleged to have taken place in that period.

The new Scotland-wide campaign, which will run until next year, will cost nearly £80,000 and includes digital advertising and posters in public toilets.

Sandy Brindley, national co-ordinator of Rape Crisis Scotland, said: “We strongly support the development of this campaign, which directly targets potential perpetrators of rape. The law is clear – sex without consent is rape.”