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Recorded sexual offences against children up 50 per cent in Thames Valley

Recorded sexual offences against children in the Thames Valley have gone up by almost 50 per cent over the past four years.

Data released by Thames Valley Police show that there were 2,690 recorded offences in 2018/19 compared to 1,815 in 2014/15, an increase of 48 per cent.

Where the age of the victim was provided, 778 of last year’s offences were recorded against children aged 10 or under.

Nationally, 76,204 offences were recorded in 2018/19, including rape, grooming and sexual assault. Children who suffer sexual abuse will often need extensive support. In response to these figures, the NSPCC has called for changes in how children across the UK are supported.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEO, said: “Record numbers of child sexual offences means we are facing a nationwide crisis in the help available for tens of thousands of children.

“These children are bravely disclosing what happened to them but in too many cases there is not enough timely, joined up and child-friendly support.

“We need a radical rethink in the way we help these young people.”

Higher numbers of recorded sex offences do not necessarily reflect an increase in crimes, but could be a result of better recording, greater awareness of what abuse is, or survivors feeling more confident in coming forward.

The full figures, revealed in an FOI request by the NSPCC, show the extent of recorded crimes in the Thames Valley area.

In 2014/15 there were 1,815 reported crimes, in 2015/16 there were 2,488, in 2017/18 there were 2,294 and in 2019/19 it was 2,690, meaning there was an 875 increase over the four years.

The NSPCC supports children who have experienced sexual trauma through its Letting the Future In therapeutic programme.

W To get in touch with the Royal Borough’s child support services call 01753 582564 or email childrens. centres@ achievingforchildren.org.uk

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