The National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) today released statistics obtained under the Freedom of Information Act which show that 45,456 reports of child sexual offences were made to the police last year; an average of more than five per hour.
This recent increase reflects a 30% rise in reporting since 2013/14. Of 45,456 reports, 32,675 (71.2%) were made by girls, whilst 8,387 were boys.
The rise could be considered positive in that an increasing number of victims of abuse are now confident enough and willing to approach police to report incidents of abuse; perhaps due to them feeling more confident that they will be believed.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey who is in charge Operation Hydrant, which coordinates police forces nationally in their investigations into non-recent child abuse is reported, commented upon the statistics that “technology has opened up new opportunities for people to [abuse]”. Bailey believes that the recent increase in reports of abuse is not just due to an increased confidence in the police’s handling of these investigations, but also due to increased prevalence in online grooming and abuser’s access to children through the internet.