Over the last three years, data collected by the police show that sexual cybercrimes in the UK have surged. To tackle the problem of these surge in online sexual crime, the Scottish Government has brought forth a specialist group whose function is the tackling of this rising problem.
According to statistics, the internet offence category of sexual crime rose from 2,901 in 2013 and 2014 to a shocking 4,360 between 2016 and 2017. That is an almost 50% increase.
The blame for this surge in sexual cyber offences has been linked to an expansion of cyber-enabled offences. With the addition of “communicating indecently” as a crime, an increase in sexual crimes rose from about 600 to over a 1000. While the addition of “causing to view sexual activity or images” led to a spike of about 200 to over a 1000.
Sadly, the majority of the victims of these sexual cybercrimes are female (over 70%). Even worse is the available data that points to over 50% of the female victims being less than 16 years of age.
The research that brought forth this shocking data was commissioned by Justice Secretary Michael Matheson who declared that experts from various fields such as health, justice, and education are all being brought together to find an effective way to protect young people and curb sexual crime.
Mr Matheson intends on fully taking advantage of the information revealed by the research to not only protect the vulnerable but also understand what drives the perpetrators of such incidents.
But there is good news as the data also revealed a 3% drop in recorded crime across Scotland. The data showed that crime in Scotland dropped from 246,243 between 2015 and 2016 to 238,651 between 2016 and 2017. Such low levels of overall recorded crime have reportedly not been witnessed since 1974.