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More needs to be done to tackle "appalling" child abuse figures
More than a third of all sexual crimes in England and Wales are committed against children, according to new figures released by police.
The statistics, obtained by the NSPCC under a freedom of information request, are equivalent to a child being sexually attacked every 20 minutes last year. Mark Hatzer, a solicitor specialising in handling cases on behalf of abuse victims, said that the findings of the report were “appalling” and showed that more needed to be done to protect children.
“According to the figures, more than 60 child sex offences are reported every day,” said Mark, a partner and joint head of the Victims of Abuse department at Fentons Solicitors LLP. “In a modern and supposedly civilised society, that is a simply appalling finding. It is incomprehensible that we are allowing children to suffer such dreadful abuse, and clearly this is unacceptable and we have to put an end to it.”
According to the police statistics, of the 54,982 sex offences reported last year some 23,097 were against children. The figures cover various horrific crimes including rape, incest and child prostitution across all of the 43 police forces in England and Wales.
“More than a fifth of these victims – almost 5,000 – were aged 10 and under, and of those, 1,472 were younger than six,” said Mark, a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL). “Most of the cases reported - almost 15,000 - involved victims aged between 11 and 17, and six times as many offences were committed against girls (19,790) than boys (3,218).”
Mark said that the report found that, alarmingly, less than 10 per cent of all reported child sex offences resulted in anyone being sentenced.
“The victims are children – plain and simple,” said Mark. “They are often very young and helpless, and it is our responsibility as a society to ensure that we protect them from this awful abuse.
“When more than 60 children are falling victim to sexual crimes each day, clearly we are failing in that responsibility, and something needs to be done quickly to stamp out this evil.”
How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to victims of sexual and physical abuse.
If you would like to talk to one of our experts in confidence, then please contact us on 0161 684 6643 or 0161 238 6440.
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