‘Urgent action needed’ as number of recorded sex offences against children jumps by 31%

Library image.
Library image.
  • Recording on sex offences against children up by 31%
  • NSPCC’s annual report highlights worrying rise
  • Increase could be because of improved police practices
  • NSPCC chief says ‘Urgent action is needed’
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The recording of sexual offences against children in Thames Valley has jumped massively, a report has revealed today.

The latest figures on the number of sexual offences against children recorded by police in the Thames Valley highlights a 31% increase from 1,103 in 2012-2013, to 1,449 in 2013-2014.

The figures are revealed today as the NSPCC launches its third state of the nation annual report ‘How safe are our children?’ at the charity’s annual conference in London.

The report compiles the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across each of the four nations in the UK.

It’s not clear why the number of offences has risen but one theory is that heightened awareness may be giving more victims the courage to come forward, including those reporting historical cases.

Another factor could be that police forces have improved their recording methods.

Whatever the reasons behind the rise, the fact remains more children are speaking out

Whatever the reasons behind the rise, the fact remains more children are speaking out

Whatever the reason, the key fact is that more children are speaking out, only to find ‘little support to help them recover from abuse’.

And it is a problem which is ‘widespread’ and in need of ‘urgent action’ according to NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless.

“These figures are disturbing and clearly illustrate child sexual abuse is a continuing and widespread problem that needs urgent action,” Mr Wanless said.

“But we know this is still only a fraction of the true number of victims because some endure an agonising wait of many years before telling anyone – and others never reveal what has happened to them.

It’s time to throw down the gauntlet to government which has to ensure all sexual abuse victims get specialist treatment to help them recover.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive

“It’s time to throw down the gauntlet to government which has to ensure all sexual abuse victims get specialist treatment to help them recover. By the end of this current Parliament there should be no children living in the shadow of abuse.”