Sexual offences against children – stats revealed
Friday 2 September 2011
CHILDREN 1ST reveals 30 per cent rise in sex offences against children
Today (Friday 2 September), the BBC revealed figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act detailing the number of sexual offences against children in England and Wales. In response CHILDREN 1ST, Scotland’s leading children’s charity, reveals similar figures for Scotland.
The figures show that since the Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act was passed in 2005, the number of sexual offences against children has risen by over 30 per cent, with the number of crimes rising from 702 in 2005, to 939 in 2010. Offences include grooming for the purposes of committing a sexual offence and recording and distributing pornographic material.
Alison Todd, Director of Policy and Practice Development for CHILDREN 1ST, said:
“Although there has been a significant rise of offences and crimes since the legislation was passed in 2005, it is not clear whether this is due to a rise in actual incidents of sexual abuse or whether the police, other agencies and the public are getting better at recognising and reporting concerns that they may have.
“Moreover, while this number may seem shocking, it is quite low when compared with the 3,062 registered sex offenders living in the community in Scotland, especially when one offender can be charged with multiple offences. We are concerned that the statutory powers that the police and courts have at their disposal to detect and prosecute sex offences against children might not be being fully utilised.
“We hear from many of the children and young people CHILDREN 1ST supports to recover from the trauma of sexual abuse, that offenders are often not identified, charged or convicted. Children need to feel reassured that, if they come forward with a disclosure of sexual abuse, they will be taken seriously and that the justice system will use all the powers granted to them to identify, charge and convict their abusers.
“CHILDREN 1ST works closely with justice agencies to promote the needs of child victims and witnesses and will continue to engage with them to address these issues. It is vital that we all do everything we can to safeguard children in Scotland from sexual harm.”
CHILDREN 1ST obtained the figures from the Scottish Government’s Justice Analytical Services. The figure for registered sex offenders in Scotland is taken from Multi-area Public Protection Arrangements’ annual reports for 2009-10. Further details regarding the figures (including an annual breakdown in the rise of offences) is available from CHILDREN 1ST.
- For over 125 years CHILDREN 1ST has been working to build a brighter future for Scotland’s vulnerable children and families. At CHILDREN 1ST we listen, we support and we take action by delivering services in homes and communities across Scotland. We work to safeguard children and young people, to support them within their families and to help them to recover from abuse, neglect and violence. We speak out for children’s rights and we campaign to change attitudes.
- CHILDREN 1ST provides local services across Scotland. We also provide four national services including ChildLine Scotland, a service delivered in Scotland by CHILDREN 1ST on behalf of the NSPCC; ParentLine Scotland (0800 028 2233), the free, national telephone helpline for parents and carers; Safeguarding in Sport providing sports organisations and coaches with training on child protection practice and guidance; a national kinship care service providing support, training and advice to kinship carers and their families through a helpline, events, support groups and information
- For more information about how we work to keep children safe in Scotland, visit www.children1st.org.uk.
- Registered Scottish Charity No: SC 016092.
Last updated: Friday 2 September 2011