CUMBRIA Constabulary have revealed figures which show the number of cases of public exposure and outraging public decency within the county over the past five years. 

A freedom of information (FOI) request, submitted to Cumbria Constabulary with results posted to the WhatDoTheyKnow site, revealed that the number of exposure offences has matched pre-pandemic levels, alongside an ever-growing increase of outraging public decency offences.

The recorded counts of exposure follow the number of recorded offences under Section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, with the outraging public decency figures relating to common law, offences which criminalise behaviour or displays which are lewd, obscene or disgusting and take place in public.

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Evidence shows that in 2017, there were 41 acts of public exposure and 11 acts of outraging public decency. So exposure offences rose to 61 by 2021, and outraging public decency rose to 21 in the same time period.

Throughout the period there has been a steady rise in figures of both exposure and outraging public decency, with a shortfall in reported offences in 2020, suggesting that the pandemic may have blunted an increasing trend - with 2019 reporting the highest number of exposure offences in the county at 67 cases.

The FOI request also indicated that there had been two offences of sexual activity in a public lavatory recorded. 

Cumbria Constabulary have also recently revealed that there have been 30 counts of indecent exposure since August 2021 until February 17, 2022, of which 15 fell within the Carlisle, eight in Allerdale and seven in Copeland. 

A spokesperson from Cumbria Constabulary said at the time: "Reports of indecent exposures are taken extremely seriously and officers treat such reports with care and professionalism due to the significant impact they can have on victims.

READ MORE: Police urge immediate response following rise in indecent exposure incidents

"We would urge anyone who has been a victim of such an offence to report it immediately on 999 so that the incident can be acted upon swiftly.

"A key factor in any report of such an offence resulting in a successful charge and prosecution is the courage and strength shown by victims and witnesses in reporting these incidents so they can be investigated thoroughly and effectively, as quickly as possible.

"We would urge anyone with information about these, or any other sexual offences, to contact the police immediately.

"You can report online at You can also phone on 101," they said. 

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