An increase in crimes of indecency across Banff and Buchan has seen such offences rise by a remarkable 88% in Fraserburgh.
The police report, presented to members of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee yesterday, highlighted that sending indecent images using technology has risen sharply.
Across Banff and Buchan, there were 24.8% more indecent crimes recorded with the figure rising from 105 in 2017-18 to 131 just 12 months later.
Fraserburgh saw an 88.2% rise in crimes of indecency rising from 34 to 64.
Chief inspector Rob Sturton presented the annual report to councillors and explained that digital technology had left the younger generation more vulnerable to these crimes than in previous years.
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He said: “Incidents of sexting and extortion can be seen to be rising.
“The crimes we have come across in the real world are now posing us serious concerns for the virtual world where multimedia messages can be easily sent.
“We know the importance of having beat officers and school liaison officers to get the message across to children about internet safety.
“The work in schools is critically important to provide teachers, parents and pupils with the information on how to stay safe online.
“This includes engaging with everyone, looking at how youngsters can become vulnerable and are more visible due to an online presence.
“We recognise that adults usually know less than the kids and with regards to online safety, sexting and other indecency issues, parents need to be educated on the issues.”
However, Ch Insp Sturton said that another reason for the increase could be the greater confidence among young people in reporting these incidents to police.
He added: “There may have been a time in the past when people decided not to report crimes like this, but there has been a change in attitude.
“Due to a range of inquiries, there are a lot of people coming forward with historical cases with some up to 60 years ago and some reported have been of multiple incidents.”
Councillor Glen Reynolds commended him and his team for becoming “victims of their own success”.
Other aspects of the report were spoken over including the high detection rates for drugs related offences and the fact local teams are now well staffed, with regular beat patrols in the streets of the towns.
The figures showed an overall 12.8% decrease in the number of complaints regarding disorder from 1,531 last year to 1,335 this year.