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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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123 child sex crime victims

CHILDREN in the county who were victims of sex crimes last year numbered 123, according to latest figures. They have been subjected to rape, incest and abuse through prostitution and pornography, says the NSPCC.

And 19 of the victims had not reached secondary school age and eight were aged five and under. The majority of offences, 104, were committed against 11 to 17-year-olds.

The NSPCC says that more than 400 sexual assaults against children were reported to police forces in England and Wales every week last year (2010-2011) with fewer than one in 10 resulting in a conviction.

For the last four years, the NSPCC has obtained figures through a Freedom of Information request and during this period there has been no significant decrease in reported offences. The number of convictions in England and Wales has risen by around one-quarter from 1,747 in 2007 to 2,135 in 2010.

The NSPCC, which runs child protection programmes from its Carlisle centre, is calling for parents, the Government and schools to take greater action to reduce these figures. It wants:

schools and parents to educate children about staying safe and reporting abuse;

the government to support the provision of therapeutic services for child victims and treatment programmes for offenders; and

the public to be more aware and know how to prevent it occurring.

Cumbria’s schools service is aiming to visit every primary school in the county over two years.

If adults have concerns about a child they should immediately contact social services, police or call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 where trained counsellors are on call 24 hours a day. Children should contact ChildLine on 0800 1111.

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