ALMOST 900 child sexual offences were recorded in Warwickshire last year.
Freedom of Information data compiled by the NSPCC reveals that a total of 875 sexual offences on children under 18 were recorded by police in the county in 2022/23. This compares to 889 the previous year – a decrease of two per cent.
Meanwhile, 86,962 child sexual offences were recorded across the UK by police in 2022/23.
This is one of the highest figures on record since the NSPCC started its annual research 16 years ago.
Types of offences recorded included rape, sexual assault, sexual grooming and sexual exploitation. The majority of crimes where age was known were perpetrated against 11 to 15-year-olds.
To help tackle this issue, the NSPCC Helpline and the Home Office are launching a campaign to encourage adults to reach out with concerns of child sexual abuse.
Together they are encouraging the public to contact the charity’s Helpline if they are concerned that a child could be at risk.
The Home Office is providing funding for the NSPCC Helpline to increase capacity as well as to raise awareness of the service to the public and professionals.
The NSPCC Helpline is the charity’s free advice line for any adult who may have concerns about a child, including professionals who work with children. The Helpline’s dedicated child protection specialists can advise on a wide range of issues. Adults can contact the Helpline for guidance and support on issues affecting children, as well as for cases of suspected child abuse.
NSPCC spokesperson Kam Thandi said: “The high numbers of child sexual offences being reported by police forces across the UK are a warning to us all that more must be done to tackle this abuse.
“This new Helpline campaign, in partnership with the Home Office, will encourage the general public and professionals to reach out with concerns about child sexual abuse. All of us must play our part in protecting children.
“The Helpline deals with concerns about children, no matter how big or small, and we’re encouraging adults to contact us. What is shared could be life-changing for a child experiencing sexual abuse.”
Any adults concerned about a child’s safety or wellbeing can contact the NSPCC Helpline at [email protected] or by calling 0808 800 5000.
Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk
People should always contact 999 if they suspect a child is in immediate danger.