Posted: Wed 10th Jan 2024

Over 1,000 child sex abuse offences reported in North Wales last year

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jan 10th, 2024

New figures released by the NSPCC paint a grim picture of child sexual abuse in the UK, with almost 87,000 offences recorded by police in 2022/23.

This startling number remains close to the highest levels recorded in the 16 years since the annual research began.

The types of offences include rape, sexual assault, grooming, and exploitation, predominantly affecting 11 to 15-year-olds.

In Wales alone, police forces documented 4,671 offences last year, with the breakdown as follows:

North Wales Police: 1,096
Dyfed Powys Police: 838
Gwent Police: 884
South Wales Police: 1,853

In response to these alarming figures, the NSPCC, in partnership with the Home Office, is launching a new campaign.

This joint effort aims to encourage the public and professionals to report any concerns about child sexual abuse to the NSPCC Helpline.

The Home Office is bolstering this initiative by funding an increase in the Helpline’s capacity and raising awareness among the public and professionals.

The NSPCC has also created two films promoting the new campaign.

These films show how adults can use the Helpline to share any concerns they may have about a child’s safety or welfare.

One of these films is tailored to professionals, and the other reaches out to the general public.

Following the comprehensive report by IICSA (the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse) in October 2022, which highlighted the under-reported nature of child sexual abuse, there has been an hourly contact with the Helpline regarding concerns of sexual abuse against children.

This report collected evidence and testimonies from thousands of victims and survivors over seven years, offering a set of recommendations to address this endemic issue.

One parent from Wales shared with the Helpline, “My child is being groomed online and I need to make it stop. They’ve been sending naked pictures of themselves online in exchange for money. They think it’s ok because they’re 17 but I know they’re being exploited. They won’t listen to our worries, what’s the best action to take?”

The NSPCC also runs a Whistleblowing Helpline for concerns about child protection issues within workplaces or other professional organisations.

Childline, another service offered by the charity, provides a direct line for children impacted by sexual abuse.

A 15-year-old girl from Wales told Childline about an incident at a party, highlighting the traumatic experiences children face.

She said, “I was crying when my dad picked me up. I tried to explain what happened, but he got angry and said that’s what happens when girls do silly things at parties. I don’t think that’s true, I think it was assault.”

Kam Thandi, Helpline Director at the NSPCC, emphasises the importance of the campaign, stating, “The high numbers of child sexual offences being reported are a warning to us all that more must be done to tackle this abuse. We’re encouraging adults to contact us. What is shared could be life-changing for a child experiencing sexual abuse.”

Laura Farris MP, Minister for Victims and Safeguarding, reinforces the collective responsibility to protect children. She says, “Every adult must be supported to call out child sexual abuse without fear. We’re supporting the NSPCC and their Helpline to protect children and bring offenders to justice.”

Concerned adults can reach the NSPCC Helpline at help@nspcc.org.uk or 0808 800 5000, while children can contact Childline at 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk. In immediate danger, 999 should be contacted.

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