The Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme (VKPP) has released a comprehensive report providing the first detailed overview of reported incidents of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSAE) crimes in England and Wales.
Based on datasets collected from 42 police forces, this national snapshot gives insight and analysis into the scale and nature of CSAE, trends in offending, including crime types, where they were committed, and presents profiles of both victims and perpetrators.
“Child abuse is an appalling crime, and this analysis helps us understand more widely the growing challenges we are all facing nationally not least young people growing up today. We also know that sadly reported crime remains significantly lower than the actual crimes of child abuse that take place with the Independent Inquiry reporting 1 in 6 girls and 1 in 20 boys will be abused in childhood, an appalling statistic and one we must all seek to change.”Ian Critchley QPM, NPCC lead Child Abuse Protection and Investigation.
The analysis sets out the consistent growth in CSAE reported to police with 107,000 crimes reported to policing a figure that has risen significantly in the last ten years ago. More than half of CSAE offences were committed by children, a significant increase from what was previously known. The report also shows that over a third of CSAE contact crimes take place within the family environment. Group-based CSAE accounts for 5% of all identified and reported CSAE.
It is known that there is significant under-reporting of these crimes, but policing recognises the value of presenting a known baseline of recorded abuse and harm taking place against children, to inform future understanding.
“Our collective offer must be to prioritise prevention – we must stop abuse happening, preventing the lifelong physical and mental harm it causes. We must give confidence to victims to come forward whether abused yesterday or many years ago, confident that they will receive a service that is of the utmost professionalism wrapped in care and compassion and we must relentlessly bring more offenders of these abhorrent crimes to justice, whilst taking due care not to criminalise young people when it is not warranted.”Ian Critchley QPM, NPCC lead Child Abuse Protection and Investigation.
Read the report in full here.
For similar articles, check out our News channel.