Rape and Sexual Assault

Under the definition of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, rape is defined as:

'penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth by the penis without consent.  However, there is a range of sexual assault and abuse which does not fit with the legal definition of rape.  These can be just as distressing and have just as much of an impact'.

Sexual crimes account for 5% of all crimes recorded in Scotland in 2021-22.

In 2021-22, of all Sexual crimes:

  • Sexual assault accounted for 36%
  • Rape & attempted rape accounted for 17%
  • Causing to view sexual activity or images accounted for 15%
  • Other sexual crimes and communicating indecently accounted for 11% each
  • Threatening to or disclosing intimate images accounted for 6%
  • Indecent photos of children accounted for 4%
  • Crimes associated with prostitution accounted for less than 1%

Cyber-Crimes

The broad definition of a cyber-crime is any crimes in which cyber technology is in any way involved. This can include crimes where a digital system, infrastructure or Information and Communication Technology (ICT) device is the target as well as the principal or sole method of attack, known as 'cyber-dependent' crimes (such as the spreading of computer viruses), to 'traditional' crimes where the internet has been used as a means to commit the crime, known as 'cyber-enabled' crimes (such as online fraud or sexual crime).

The volume of sexual crimes that were cyber-crimes has increased. Between 2021-22 there were 4,210 recorded by Police Scotland. 

Further information on sexual cyber crimes can be found on the police recorded cyber-crime in Scotland information page (opens new window)