5 child sex offences reported every hour

With such a dramatic increase in recorded sex crimes, there has never been a greater need for therapeutic help for victims

The number of child sex offences reported to police throughout the UK rose to a record 45,456 last year – 124 a day - according to figures we've obtained.

Of the total number of crimes reported, 41,457 were recorded in England and Wales. Crimes included rape, grooming and sexual assault. This was an increase of a third on 2013/14, when 31,238 sex offences were reported.

These latest statistics from a Freedom of Information request to the 45 forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland reveal there were nearly 4 female abuse cases (32,675) to every male (8,387).

10,757 sex offence cases involved children aged 10 and under in 2014/15. Of those, 2,409 had not yet reached school age.

While shocking, these figures may only reveal a small part of the whole picture as many children are afraid to speak up. One of our recent reports also revealed that some young victims say they are not believed when they report sex crimes to police.

While it's unclear why there has been such a staggering increase in recorded offences, some reasons to consider are:

    • police forces may have improved their recording methods or become more vigilant about sex crimes
    • survivors might feel encouraged to speak out following high-profile cases and greater awareness
    • an increase in online grooming.

With such a dramatic increase in recorded sex crimes, there has never been a greater need for therapeutic help for victims.

That's why our It's Time campaign is calling on the government to increase funding for support services for children who have suffered abuse and ring- fence money for these survivors.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEO said:
"This dramatic rise is deeply worrying and shows just how extensive this appalling crime has become, claiming many victims every day, every hour.

"Sexual abuse can shatter a child's mental health. It can leave them anxious, depressed and even suicidal. That is why it is crucial every single child who has endured abuse and needs support must get timely, thorough help so they can learn how to handle disturbing emotions and behaviours and rebuild their lives.

"Our It's Time Campaign demands that government make the mental health of abused children a priority so that some of the most vulnerable members of our society can start to recover."