Serious sex crime soars

Chief Superintendent Alasdair Robinson. INLM2012-994con
Chief Superintendent Alasdair Robinson. INLM2012-994con

SERIOUS sex crimes in Craigavon have soared by 45 per cent over the past year.

However, detection rates for serious sex crimes have fallen by 17.2 per cent, according to the latest statistics issued by the PSNI.

In the past year there were 90 incidents of serious sexual crime recorded by the PSNI.

This compares to 62 incidents in 2010/11 and represents a rise of 28 or a 45.2 percent hike.

The detection rate this year is 16.7 per cent compared to 33.9 per cent the previous year. This is a drop of 17.2 percent in detection rates for this type of crime.

Over the past year there were just eight offences of a sexual nature not categorised as the most serious sexual offences. This is down by 11 from the previous year when there were 19 recorded.

A quarter of these crimes were detected, a rise of 19.7 per cent on the previous year.

The most serious sexual crime is defined as rape, sexual assault, sexual activity, abuse of children through prostitution and pornography and trafficking for sexual exploitation. Other sexual offences include indecent assault, indecent exposure and voyeurism.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police in Craigavon fully understand that an increase in the number of reports of serious sexual offences may cause concern, however, police have worked continually to encourage victims to report this type of crime.

“All reports of serious sexual offences are dealt with the utmost seriousness.

“All allegations are investigated by trained detectives from Crime Operations Department who are dedicated to carrying out rigorous and thorough investigations and to providing a professional service to victims of rape and sexual assault.

“This specialist Rape Crime Unit affords us a more streamlined approach to the investigation of adult stranger and acquaintance sexual assaults as well as child stranger rapes.

“The Rape Crime Unit also ensures that we have better opportunities to provide a consistent service across Northern Ireland.

“Police regularly hold multi-agency meetings to address community concerns, and are fully committed to making everywhere in Northern Ireland safe at night for everyone.

“We would encourage anyone who has information in relation to this type of crime to contact us on 0845 600 8000.”