There Is No Point Being Sensitive to Rape Victims Then Fail to Get Enough Evidence; NEW SEX CRIMES CHIEF VOWS SHAKE-UP IN PERVERT HUNT Investigator Targets 'Golden Hour' after Crime

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Byline: Exclusive By Annie Brown

THE new head of scotland's elite sex crimes unit has vowed to shake up the way offences are investigated to improve conviction rates.

Alison Di Rollo has held talks with police about the importance of gathering evidence in the "golden hour" after crimes are reported.

The National Sexual Crimes Unit (NSCU) boss believes police are leading the way in their sensitive treatment of sex attack victims.

But lawyer Di Rollo insists more can be done to boost the quality and quantity of clues needed to bring their tormentors to justice.

Di Rollo said: "We have to remember that there is no point being sensitive to a victim of rape then failing to get the investigation right. We have to gather the best evidence we can."

to " She has met the police to discuss the high standard of evidence needed to secure more rape convictions.

at earliest Di Rollo added: "I am looking for a good, prompt investigation of injuries and forensic evidence, and there is a golden hour for that.

more I bolster "We are looking for mobile phone evidence, CCTV, witnesses, neighbours and so on. All of that needs to be captured at the earliest opportunity. The more I can bolster the victim's account, the more chance I have of getting a conviction."

more of " Di Rollo is also to launch a public awareness campaign to tackle internet predators. She said her unit was dealing with an increasing number of children being exploited on social networking sites.In her first interview since taking over the post last week, Di Rollo said her team would visit schools and community groups to warn them of the dangers of the internet.

Scottish Government figures show sex crimes reported to the police rose by a total of 10 per cent in 2011-12 compared to the previous year.

The unit have blamed some of that rise on children's unlimited access to social networking.

Di Rollo said: "More and more frequently we are coming across the exploitation of kids on the internet.

"There is a preventative message to put out there and we have a part to play in that because of our knowledge of how these people go about exploiting kids."

It is an area that has produced a number of successful prosecutions in recent years, aided by the fact that cyber crime leaves an imprint. Di Rollo explained: "The nature of the offences means the evidence is often very good and compelling.

"We capture things like the web logs and chat logs, so we have a good evidential trail."

Although she maintains being a woman has little impact on her role, she believes being a parent to two boys, now 17 and 20, influenced her thinking.

She said: "I think I am conscious of the vulnerability of children growing up and the influences they are exposed to, such as peer pressure. …