Rise in non-recent sex offences recorded against children

More than 60,000 cases of non-recent sexual abuse against children have been recorded by police forces across the UK over the last 4 years.

Figures show that recorded offences involving non-recent sexual abuse – where the offence is alleged to have occurred more than a year before it was reported to police – have increased year on year, from 10,493 in 2013/14 to 20,410 in 2016/17.

We believe this steep rise may, in part, be down to high-profile abuse cases as well as the football abuse scandal, which began a year ago this week. A dedicated NSPCC helpline was set up in response, and received more than 2,500 calls.

The statistics came from police forces in England and Wales, as well as the British Transport Police and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The overall number of recorded offences will be higher, as 6 UK police forces did not provide full figures for all 4 years.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: “It doesn't matter whether the sexual abuse happened a year ago or 50 years ago, it is never too late to report it. It's clear that for far too long, many people who suffered horrendously as children felt they could not speak up, were not believed or did not know who to turn to.

“Although these rising figures paint a worrying picture of widespread abuse, it is encouraging that so many are finally finding their voice in a climate today where they know they will be listened to and supported.

“What's important now is survivors of abuse receive the support they need and that the people who carried out these vile offences are identified and finally brought to justice.”

"I have had breakdowns, have depressive episodes and I’ve attempted suicide as an adult. But I am determined and I’ve got dreams and ambitions. I’m strong. I went to the police to report my father when I was 25 and the conviction has helped me recover."
Maria, aged 47

Call the NSPCC helpline

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