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Preventing Sexual Offending Among Young People

The Scottish Government has announced the appointment of former Crown Office chief executive Catherine Dyer to lead an expert group on preventing sexual offending involving young people. 

The Justice Secretary Michael Matheson and the Solicitor General announced plans to establish the group in September this year following the findings from research Mr Matheson had commissioned last year into the rise in recorded sexual crime.
The group’s remit includes all sexual offending and harm, with a particular focus on cyber-enabled offending involving young people. It will have its first meeting early next year and is expected to report in Spring 2019.
Planned membership includes representatives of the Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland, Child Protection Committees Scotland, Police Scotland, Young Scot, Stop It Now!, Crown Office, Social Work Scotland, as well as expertise from the health sector and academia.
“Catherine brings a wealth of experience. Her leadership, and the collective expertise of the group, will help us put a stop to what is a growing area of concern among young people,” commented Mr Matheson.
“Advances in technology are greatly beneficial for the way we all live our lives, but also present new risks for harm,” he said. “We have responded through new laws criminalising the sharing of intimate images as well as strong public information campaigns.”
“Prevention is key, with figures showing more must be done for young people now,” he added. “In the last year, more than 80% of victims of online sexual crime were female, with an average age of 14, and 96% of perpetrators were male. We need to better understand why some young men are motivated to behave in this way, and how we can prevent it.”

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