Latest figures of reports recorded by the police show large increase
The number of cases of sexual offences against children has risen sharply according to the most recent figures available.
Figures obtained from the Metropolitan Police by the NSPCC show such cases rose in London from 2,991 in 2012-2013, to 3,523 in 2013-2014. And last year, 470 calls received by the NSPCC’s helpline from people across greater London about sexual abuse were so serious that they were referred on immediately to the police or children’s services.
The figures are revealed 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. Greater awareness may be giving more victims the courage to come forward, including those reporting historical cases, or police forces have improved their recording methods. However it does mean that more children are speaking out, only to find little support to help them recover from abuse.
NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless said: “These figures are disturbing and clearly illustrate child sexual abuse is a continuing and widespread problem that needs urgent action. 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.
He continued: “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.”
June 18, 2015