North Yorkshire Police records nearly three child sex offences every day, new figures reveal

10 Aug 2020 @ 12.22 pm
| Crime

North Yorkshire Police recorded nearly three child sex offences on average every day last year, new figures reveal.  

Charity the NSPCC has found that the force recorded 1,042 cases in 2019-2020, which works out at 2.8 offences per day.

That’s an increase of more than two-thirds – 66.9% – in five years.

Across Yorkshire & Humberside, there were 9,187 recorded offences including rape, online grooming and sexual assault against children.

The NSPCC said the figures – obtained from police forces via the Freedom of Information Act – show the need for national leadership in response and urged the Home Office to publish and implement its Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy. 

The call comes as an NSPCC report found contacts from young people to Childline about sexual abuse in the family tripled during lockdown. 

Child sex offences – Yorkshire

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Force‌ ‌2014/15‌ ‌2019/20‌ ‌5-year‌
‌increase‌ ‌
per‌ ‌day‌
2019/20‌ ‌
Humberside‌ ‌ ‌888‌ ‌1,585‌ ‌78%‌ ‌4‌ ‌
North‌ ‌Yorkshire‌ ‌624‌ ‌1,042‌ ‌66.9%‌ ‌2.8‌ ‌
South‌ ‌Yorkshire‌ ‌1,577‌ ‌2,036‌ ‌29%‌ ‌5‌ ‌
West‌ ‌Yorkshire‌ ‌2,271‌ ‌4,524‌ ‌99%‌ ‌12‌ ‌
Regional‌ ‌Total‌ ‌5,360‌ ‌9,187‌ ‌71%‌ ‌‌Regional‌ ‌Total‌ ‌ 23.8‌ ‌

Internet dangers

Photograph: Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Detective Superintendent Allan Harder, head of safeguarding at North Yorkshire Police, said: “North Yorkshire Police and our community partners recognised at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown that young people could be increasingly exposed to sexual abuse online and at home while away from schools and colleges.

“From the outset, we have co-ordinated a series of targeted communications to highlight the very real dangers that lurk on the internet and explain how parents and carers can help to reduce the risk of children falling victim to abuse and child sexual exploitation.

“A key element of this work has involved the active promotion of excellent support and reporting services such as the NSPCC and Childline in particular, therefore it is heartening to see that this work has helped victims to have the confidence to come forward in recent months.”

The force also has both a specialist online abuse and exploitation team and a non-recent abuse investigation team.

“If you are a victim of sexual abuse or you know someone who is, our message is please don’t suffer in silence,” Det Supt Harder said. “We are here to help you every step of the way.”