POLICE Scotland is considering tackling "incel" culture as part of its strategy to address violence against women and girls.

The strategy, presented in a report at the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) policing performance committee on Thursday, includes recommendations based on engagement with the general public, women and girls, survivors of violence, key partners, academics, and experts.

The report describes incel culture as a "misogynistic ideology" in which men blame women for their lack of intimate relationships and resort to verbal, physical, or sexual assault. This culture is largely online, where incels communicate across various platforms in what is often called the "manosphere".

READ MORE: SNP release membership figures following pressure from leadership candidates

It comes as analysis earlier this year found a six-fold rise in UK web traffic to websites promoting incel culture.

The Centre for Countering Digital Hate found that UK web traffic data to three of the largest incel sites had grown from 114,420 monthly visits to 638,505, over the period of March to November 2021.

This has been accompanied by a rise in instances of sexual crime and domestic abuse according to Police Scotland, although cases often go unreported.

Although the overall number of reported sexual crimes decreased by 4.5% from 11,347 to 10,837 between April and December of last year, there was an increase of 6.6% when compared to the five-year average, with 672 more crimes reported than the previous year's 10,164.

Proposals from the report include addressing incel culture through educational efforts, providing trauma-informed training to all members of the police force, and increasing the utilization of visually recorded interviews led by sexual offenses liaison officers.

The report said: “We will challenge these unacceptable beliefs and look to establish the scale and potential threat arising from these individuals; improve understanding amongst officers and staff of these issues and work with partners to devise appropriate awareness raising campaigns.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon speaks out amid growing row over SNP leadership ballot integrity

Examples of the type of campaigns include the inclusion of incel culture and violent misogyny within existing cyber choices packages in schools, as well as higher education and workplaces.

Launching the strategy, Deputy Chief Constable Jane Connors said: “We are committed to creating a society where women and girls live free from violence, abuse, exploitation and harassment.

“We will work with our partners across criminal justice, and support services, to improve the opportunities and support for women to report [crime].

“We are committed to continually improving the service we provide, to build confidence in reporting and in policing more widely. Our service must be trauma-informed, we will prioritise the needs of victims and survivors.

“As an organisation we are not immune from the sexism and misogyny that is at the root of this violence. Our strategy recognises the work that needs to be done internally.

“Our role is crucial, but policing alone cannot stop violence against women and girls. Our strategy outlines the actions we will take as a service, together with our partners.

“We will continue to engage, to work with our partners, to improve our response and to drive the change needed to end violence against women and girls.”

The strategy will be subject to final discussion by the full SPA board next week.