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Five child sex offences recorded on average every day across North

Five child sex offences recorded on average every day across North

MORE than a dozen child sex offences are being recorded in Scotland ever day on average, it has emerged.

Police across the Thames Valley recorded nearly 2,500 child sex offences a year ago, figures obtained by the NSPCC reveal.

More than 600 of the offences involved children under the age of 10.

New figures obtained via a Freedom of Information request from the NSPCC to police forces across the United Kingdom found officers recorded crimes including rape, sexual assault and grooming - with 193 offences recorded against babies younger than aged one.

Recorded crimes include rape, sexual assault and grooming.

Colin Reid, policy and public affairs manager for NSPCC Northern Ireland, said the figures showed the PSNI were "making real progress".

Matt Forde, national head of service for NSPCC Scotland, said: "Sexual abuse can destroy a child's life, leaving them feeling ashamed and depressed or even suicidal, so it takes incredible courage to come forward and report this to the authorities".

The number of child sex offences recorded by police in Cumbria is at an all time high.

Craig Thorley from the charity, says police need more funding to tackle the problem.

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"In 2016-17, 46 offences recorded by Sussex Police were flagged as having an online element".

Historical child sexual offences must also be considered - Dyfed-Powys Police is now investigating abuse on Caldey Island in the 1970s and 80s while a trial is ongoing as part of Operation Almond - an investigation into abuse at two children's homes in Carmarthenshire.

Addressing the rise in reported cases, the spokesman said: "Some of it is in part due to more rigorous recording standards, this can be seen as a positive sign that victims feel more confident to report crimes of this nature".

Detective Inspector Andrea Warren said: "Child protection is a force priority. 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 to rebuild their lives", Peter Wanless said.

The charity's Speak out, Stay safe programme, which visits primary schools across the United Kingdom, reached more than 37,600 children in Hertfordshire a year ago.

The NSPCC is calling for government to direct more resources to ensure high-quality training and support is available to frontline police officers to help raise awareness of safeguarding procedures and tackle child sex offences, especially online.

"A good number of children that I work with personally haven't even realised they've been abused because it's happened for so long that they don't realise what they're experiencing is abusive".

"We have teams aligned to the five Health and Social Care Trusts to ensure closer working relationships and better communications with our partner agencies in both the statutory and voluntary sector".

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