NSPCC: Child sex offence recorded every ten minutes in UK
- Recorded child sex offences across UK police at all-time high
- Figure soared by nearly a fifth to 55,507 recorded crimes against children and young people
- NSPCC calls for investment in early recovery services for abused children
The number of offences recorded in 2015/16 increased by nearly a fifth from the previous year. Police recorded crimes against children that included rape, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation.
Latest statistics gained through NSPCC requests to police found officers recorded, on average, one child sex offence every 10 minutes.
A total of 13,565 crimes were recorded against children aged 10 and under, while 2,799 of these crimes were perpetrated against children four and under, some of whom would be too young to even attend primary school.
The NSPCC believes a number of reasons could explain the dramatic increase:
- Police forces improving recording methods.
- Survivors feeling more confident in disclosing abuse following high-profile cases.
- Online grooming becoming a major problem with predators reaching multiple children.
The total number of sex offences committed is unknown, as more children may not have come forward because they are frightened, embarrassed, or do not realise that they have been abused.
The NSPCC’s ‘Speak out. Stay safe’ programme visits primary schools across the UK to help children learn the signs of abuse and what to do if they have been the victim of such abuse.
The charity’s ‘Letting The Future In’ service also provides therapy for children who have been sexually abused, and its ‘Protect and Respect’ programme helps older children and young people who have been, or are at risk of being, sexually exploited.
According to the NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless:
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