There has been a “steep rise” in the number of child sex offences recorded by police in the North West in the past year Including over 480 extra cases in Greater Manchester.
Figures released today by the NSPCC across the U.K. rose to a record 55,507 last year, almost a fifth higher than the previous year.
The figures included rape, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation.
The charity say there are a number of factors could have contributed to the rise, including, police forces improving methods for recording offences, young people feeling more confident in disclosing abuse following high-profile cases and online grooming becoming a major problem for perpetrators reaching multiple children.
The charity says that more must be done to protect children and calls for specialist training for police investigating online child abuse,
investment in early intervention services to help children recover and
effective rehabilitation for child sex offenders to prevent them from hurting more children.
Peter Wanless, CEONSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless said:
“This steep rise lays bare just how extensive this appalling crime against children has become, claiming multiple victims every hour, some of whom are yet to say their first word.
“Sexual abuse can shatter a child’s life and leave them feeling ashamed, depressed, or even suicidal. Now, more than ever, victims need help as soon as possible to help them recover from their ordeals and go on to lead full and happy lives.
“Government must commit funds to early intervention that better help these children who through no fault of their own are enduring so much pain.”