Charity reveals figures for young people in Surrey reported for child sexual abuse (From Redhill And Reigate Life)
Got a story? Call 01273 544544 or email email@example.com
Charity reveals figures for young people in Surrey reported for child sexual abuse
12:04pm Monday 4th March 2013 in Local News
Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act have revealed a high number of young people in Surrey have been reported for committing child sexual abuse.
The figures obtained by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) have shown that 207 offences of under 18s committing child sexual abuse were reported to Surrey Police in the last three years.
The figures, which the charity stated were high, were taken from FOI responses from Surrey Police. They have come against a backdrop of more than 5,000 offences of under 18s committing child sexual abuse across England and Wales reported to the police in the last three years.
And the NSPCC is warning that the true figure will be even higher as not all forces in England and Wales were able to provide relevant data when responding to a FOI request.
From the 34 forces that did supply information, a total of 5,028 offences were recorded where the perpetrator was under 18.
The charity said some were as young as five or six. The alleged crimes included rape and other serious sexual assaults which were reported between 2009 to 2010 and 2011 to 2012. Nearly all – 98% – of the 4,562 offenders were boys. The charity stated that where the relationship was recorded, at least three out of five of the victims knew the abuser. More than one third of the offences were said to have been committed by a family friend or acquaintance, and one in five by family members.
The findings follow a report from probation inspectors last month (February ) which found that police, social workers and teachers were missing the warning signs that a child may sexually offend. The NSPCC is also warning that easy access to sexual material could be leading to an increase in the number of children needing help.
Claire Lilley, policy advisor at the NSPCC, said: “Any incidents like these are a real cause for concern and these figures should be ringing alarm bells with the authorities that this is a problem that needs to be tackled urgently.”
Ms Lilley said: “In some cases, older children are attacking younger children, in other cases, it’s sexual violence within a teenage relationship. “Whilst more research needs to be done on this problem, we know that technology and easy access to sexual material is warping young people’s view of what is ‘normal’ or acceptable behaviour. “We are treating an increasing number of children who have carried out online grooming, harassment in chatrooms and ‘sexting’”.
She continued: “Children who are sexually abusive have often been victims of abuse, harm and trauma themselves.
“Exposure to this can make them think sexually abusing someone or being sexually violent is ok.
“But evidence shows that most young people who receive behaviour-changing treatment early on, such as that offered by the NSPCC, will not continue to sexually abuse others or grow into adult offenders.”
She added: “If we are to tackle this growing problem and protect young victims, more needs to be done to identify and treat children at risk of sexually offending - and we must do more to shield young people from an increasingly sexualised society.”
Any adult worried about a child or in need of help and advice can contact the NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children and young people can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111.
The NSPCC delivers a treatment service for young people from five to 18 years old with harmful sexual behaviour. The treatment is carried out across nine UK service centres, and aims to provide therapeutic support to young people. This allows them to understand healthy relationships, and how to regulate their behaviour to reduce the risk of repeat sexual offences by addressing underlying behaviour.
For more information visit the charity's website at: www.nspcc.org.uk