A RISE in the number of historic sexual crimes seen after high-profile cases with celebrities such as Jimmy Savile and football coaches has led to a new unit being set up in Fife.

The period between April and June this year saw 20.9 per cent more sex crimes reported than the same timeframe in 2016 with a large proportion being non-recent in nature.

The increase is a “direct result” of high-profile abuse cases across the UK.

That was the view given in a report which went to Fife Council’s environment, protective services and community safety committee last week.

Councillors were told that the Fife Division’s Public Protection Unit had undergone a “significant restructure” to effectively cope with the high volume of historical reports.

In the three-month period, 48 per cent of sexual crimes reported were non-recent ones.

Detective Chief Inspector John Anderson, of the Public Protection Unit, said they were committed to ensuring they were able to deliver the best possible support to victims despite the increase in non-recent sexual offences.

“We have dedicated detectives within Fife’s Public Protection Unit who are responsible for investigating childhood abuse reported by victims who are now of adult age and who have bravely come forward,” he explained.

“These officers are co-located with other functions of the Public Protection Unit, such as child protection, rape investigation and offender management, which helps ensure a joint approach to the protection of any vulnerable individuals.

“While conducting robust enquiries, these officers work with a number of partners to ensure that a victim is fully supported throughout the investigation and any subsequent trial.

“I would urge anyone with information about sexual offences against children to contact us as, no matter how much time has passed, we are committed to using all resources at our disposal to bring perpetrators of these deplorable crimes to justice.”