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03rd Feb 2017

Shocking Figures Reveal Huge Rise In Child-On-Child Sex Offences

Alison Bough

Shocking UK police figures have revealed a rise of almost 80 percent in reports of child-on-child sex offences.

Research released today by the children’s charity Barnardo’s has revealed that the number of recorded cases of children committing sexual offences against other children has sky-rocketed by 78 percent in England and Wales between 2013 and 2016.

The number of alleged offences reported to police forces in England and Wales rose from 5,215 in 2013 to 9,290 in 2016. The alarming figures has strengthened the leading children’s charity’s call for action to be taken in tackling the growing problem of children sexually harming each other.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan, warned last year that unless child on child sexual abuse is dealt with head on, it may become the next scandal in our society. He says that the latest figures are another wake up call to the extent of the problem,

“We’re deeply concerned more children may be sexually harming other children. We know this can be because they’ve been abused themselves and may not have received the right support to help them recover.

An estimated third of sexual abuse is carried out by children. Rehabilitating children so they don’t go on to harm others is vital to preventing further sexual abuse. High quality age appropriate mandatory sex and relationship education would help children recognise what a healthy relationship should look like.”

The startling figures, obtained by Barnardo’s under the Freedom of Information act, have demonstrated that the number of reported cases more than doubled in twelve areas of the UK between 2013 and 2016. In total, there were 32,452 reports to police of alleged sexual offences by children on other children over a four year period – an average of more than 22 every day.

The organisation says that the true figures are likely to be higher because seven police forces in England and Wales didn’t respond or only provided a partial response. Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the British police chief’s council lead for child protection commented on the distressing statistics,

“We believe we can attribute these increases to more awareness and greater victim confidence. We also have to look at the possibility that more abuse is being perpetrated and if technology is facilitating this.

These figures highlight the importance of building resilience in young people and educating them about sexual relationships. This can’t be left to chance.

I know from my own force that we are engaging with schools more than ever to educate and raise awareness of both the different forms of abuse and how to get support. It is clear from the increase in the number of reports we are receiving how vital this work is.”

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