*Snapshots are based on real Helpline and Childline service users but are not necessarily direct quotes. All names and potentially identifying details have been changed to protect the identity of the child or young person involved.
The NSPCC sent Freedom of Information requests to police forces in the UK requesting the number of recorded sexual offences against children aged under 18, broken down by offence along with the age and gender of victims they recorded in 2022/23. Of the 44 police forces, 43 responded. Last year a total of 41 police forces responded.
There is a slight decrease in recorded offences in the year 2022/23 compared to 2021/22. In 2022/23 the NSPCC gathered data that recorded 86,962 offences, and in 2021/22 there were 87,808 recorded offences. The NSPCC can provide further FOI data on request. Please note, more police forces responded to this NSPCC FOI request this year compared to the year 2021/22.
Higher recorded sexual offences do not necessarily reflect high prevalence of crimes, but could be explained by better recording, greater awareness of what abuse is, and survivors feeling more confident in coming forward.
Between April 2022 and March 2023 the NSPCC Helpline dealt with 39,822 child welfare contacts where the main concern was neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse/exploitation (contact and online), domestic abuse or emotional abuse.
Between October 2022 and September 2023, the NSPCC Helpline handled 8,803 child welfare contacts where the main concern was child sexual abuse and exploitation (contact and online). This is a 6% increase compared to October 2021 – September 2022 when the NSPCC Helpline handled 8,318 child welfare contacts where the main concern was child sexual abuse.