Concerns over reporting of crimes


Published: Wednesday 10th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Only three in 20 violent crimes against children are reported to the police, a study has claimed.

Research into crimes against children and young people in England and Wales by charity Victim Support and the University of Bedfordshire found violent offences were the most common crime affecting children – injuring seven in 10 of those child victims.

The report, commissioned for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Victims and Witnesses of Crime, also found that chi ld victims of sexual abuse would fill around 950 classrooms based on 25 children per class. There were 23,772 recorded sexual offences against children under 16 years of age in England and Wales in 2013/14.

The report is published as representatives from more than 50 countries, 23 technology companies and nine non-governmental organisations take part in a two day summit on online child sexual exploitation.

The Home Secretary, the director general of the National Crime Agency (NCA) Keith Bristow, the Prime Minister’s digital economy Adviser Joanna Shields and the secretary-general of Interpol Jurgen Stock, are all due to address the summit.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “We are all appalled by the continued use of the internet to abuse and exploit children for sexual gratification and profit.

“It causes indescribable harm to children and young people, whose suffering is multiplied by the continued circulation of images of their abuse online.”

The report by Victim Support also found s ome young victims of crime see robbery, assault or rape as a “natural part of growing up” – so do not see themselves as being victims.

Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham and chair of the APPG for victims and witnesses of crime, said: “Understanding crime, how to avoid becoming a victim and how to report it should be on the national curriculum just like education about sex, alcohol and drugs.

“But, care should be taken that the role police, teachers, medical staff and social workers play in supporting children and young people does not reinforce the fears they say they have about telling someone about a crime and so discourage them from telling anyone.

“It is only if they feel that they can go to the police that the perpetrators can be caught and punished – and hopefully future victims prevented.”

Published: Wednesday 10th December 2014 by The News Editor

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