NSPCC finds 64 child sex crimes a day recorded by police
Press Releases - 26 May 2011
Police in England and Wales recorded a child sex crime every 20 minutes last year, new NSPCC research reveals today.1
More than 23,000 offences – including rape, incest and gross indecency – were logged in 2009-10. This is an eight per cent increase on the previous year.
Most reports concerned children aged 12-15 years old. However, over 1,000 victims were pre-school age and one in four were aged 11 or under.2 Girls continue to be around six times more likely to be sexually assaulted than boys, with over 20,000 (86%) female victims recorded.
The figures show, for the first time, the number of young people accused of committing child sex offences. Nearly one-quarter (2,200) of known suspects in these cases were under 18. 3
The NSPCC used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain this data from all 43 police forces in England and Wales - for the third year running. The figures show a rise in the number of recorded offences from 20,698 in 2007-08 to 21,618 in 2008-09 and 23,390 in 2009-10.4
Home Office figures give no clear picture of how many sex offences are committed every year against children, their ages, gender or whether someone was convicted.5
The NSPCC believes this data helps show which children are at most risk and from whom and should allow the UK Government and local authorities to find better ways to protect children.
Jon Brown, NSPCC child sex abuse lead, said: “Thousands of people come forward every year to report sex crimes against children. But many victims are too young to ask for help. Others are too scared to tell anyone about their suffering until years later.
“The rise in recorded sex offences against children is a real concern and we need to find ways to help victims and change the behaviour of young offenders.
“More than 2,000 suspects in these cases were under 18. It’s clear we need more services that address the harmful sexual behaviour of young people, as well as adult offenders.
"This year the NSPCC is launching two UK-wide programmes to help prevent young people from sexually harming others. A third programme will test different therapies for helping children recover from sex abuse.
“We urge everyone to be vigilant and report any concerns they have about a child.”
NSPCC media office 020 7825 2602; out of hours mobile 07976 206 625.
Notes to Editors
1. All police forces in England and Wales recorded a total of 23, 390 sex offences against children – one every twenty minutes on average.
2. In total, police forces recorded 23,390 sex offences against:
1,028 victims aged 0 to 4 years old
5,164 victims aged 5 to 11 years old
12,088 victims aged 12 to 15 years old
5,022 victims aged 16 and 17 years old
88 child victims of unknown age
3. Police forces recorded a total of 9,636 child and adult suspects of sex offences against children in 2009/10. Nearly a quarter (23%) of these suspects were under the age of 18.
4. Figures from 2007-08 excluded one police force, Greater Manchester Police, which said it could not respond to the FOI request that year.
5. The Home Office gathers data from police forces for its annual crime report, but it only lists broad child victim age ranges as defined by the recorded offence, such as ‘sexual assault on a female child under 13’, or ‘sexual assault on a male aged 13 and over’. The Home Office Statistical Bulletin Crime in England and Wales 2009/10:
About the NSPCC
The NSPCC is the UK’s leading children’s charity specialising in child protection and the prevention of cruelty to children. The NSPCC runs projects and services across the United Kingdom and Channel Islands, including ChildLine, the UK’s free, confidential 24-hour helpline for children and young people.
The NSPCC Helpline - 0808 800 5000 - is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide advice and support to anyone concerned about a child's welfare. Calls to the Helpline are free. Expert advice is also available online at www.nspcc.org.uk