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giovedì 23 marzo 2017
Child sex crimes recorded every 10 minutes in the UK
A SEX offence involving a child is recorded by police every 10 MINUTES, an investigation has revealed.
Police forces around the UK logged a record 55,507 suspected sexual crimes against under-18s in 2015/16, figures obtained by the NSPCC show.
This means that police are registering reported offences including rape, sexual assault and exploitation of children at an average rate of 152 a day, or six an hour.
The total tally – calculated through Freedom of Information requests – jumped by nearly a fifth compared with the previous year, according to the study.
It found that 13,565 alleged offences were recorded against children aged ten and under, while 2,799 were perpetrated against victims aged four or younger.
The charity claimed three possible reasons that could be behind the overall increase including; improved recording methods, increased confidence among victims in disclosing abuse following high-profile cases; and online grooming emerging as a “major problem”.
NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: “This steep rise lays bare just how extensive this appalling crime against children has become, claiming multiple victims every hour, some of whom are yet to say their first word.
“Sexual abuse can shatter a child’s life and leave them feeling ashamed, depressed, or even suicidal.
“Now, more than ever, victims need help as soon as possible to help them recover from their ordeals and go on to lead full and happy lives.
“Government must commit funds to early intervention that better help these children who, through no fault of their own, are enduring so much pain.”
The findings were revealed days after the Government announced that a new offence of sexual communication with a child would take effect next month.
Section 67 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 has been on the statute book for two years but has not yet come into force. The Government had faced criticism over the delay.
Under the clause, adult groomers will face up to two years in prison, with those convicted automatically placed on the sex offenders register.
The offence covers both online and offline communication, including through social media, e-mail and letters.
Last month a police chief sparked a storm of controversy when he suggested that those who viewed indecent images of children should not always face criminal charges.
Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection, said lower level offenders should be dealt with through counselling and rehabilitation.
Forces should focus on the most dangerous paedophiles with access to children and those looking at the most serious images, the officer said.