The NSPCC has released figures from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request sent to police forces across the UK asking them for the number of recorded sexual offences against children under the age of 18 between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020. Figures show there were 73,518 recorded offences including rape, online grooming and sexual assault against children in the UK in 2019/20 – up 57% in the 5 years since 2014/15.
Where gender and age were recorded:
- girls were 4 times as likely to be victims
- there were more than 8,000 offences committed against 14-year-olds, making it the most common age group to report offences
- there were 12,374 sex crimes recorded against children under 10
- 449 offences were recorded against babies yet to reach their first birthday.
The figures on child sexual abuse show the need for national leadership in response and the NSPCC has urged the Home Office to publish and implement its Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy.
The strategy was announced by then Home Secretary Sajid Javid at the ‘How Safe are our Children’ conference in June last year. In May the Home Office said it “will shortly publish the first of its kind cross-government Child Sexual Abuse Strategy to improve the UK’s response to tackling this abhorrent crime”. The strategy has yet to be published.
Thanks and credit to the NSPCC