The Jimmy Savile-effect may be responsible for soaring numbers of sex crime reports in the Highlands and islands.
The latest police figures show that reported sexual offences between last April and this January are more than a third higher than the same period last year, having increased by 38% from 377 to 520.
Rape reports in the region have risen by 30% from 84 to 109.
Chief Superintendent Julian Innes believes the figures show an increased confidence in reporting sexual crimes in the wake of high-profile cases.
“I think there’s some big hitters in terms of Jimmy Savile and a couple of the other well-known celebrities down south that have been reported in the media for sexual offences, and I suppose that takes a while to be filtered through in the Highlands and islands,” he said.
“People take confidence in that if they can do something about these people then maybe I’ll be listened to.
“I don’t welcome the fact the reported incidences of sexual offences have gone up, but I’m actually really pleased that people are starting to bring historic offences to us.”
Mr Innes said he was “not happy at all” about a rise in violent crime from 162 incidents to 232 this year, including the number of serious assaults more than doubling from 61 to 130.
However, he highlighted that the previous 12 months had been an “exceptionally good year”, potentially related to the “feel-good factor” that accompanied the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and other events in Scotland.