Under 10s ‘committing sex crimes’

Published: Sunday 1st February 2015 by The News Editor

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Hundreds of children under 10 have been reported to police for sex offences including rape, according to reports.

Figures obtained by the Sunday Mirror through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request from 33 police forces across England and Wales showed 776 children aged up to nine had been investigated for sex crimes.

Data released by the Metropolitan Police appears to show a four year old was recorded as suspected of committing rape between January and September 2014.

NSPCC spokesman Jon Brown told the paper: “These figures may seem hard to believe but, unfortunately, there are cases of children as young as three committing sexual offences.

“These children may well have experienced very severe trauma and abuse themselves. That kind of behaviour won’t just have come out of nowhere. They will undoubtedly have been victims of sexual abuse. It’s terrible.

“There should be no cases like this. These children are not paedophiles – they are victims themselves.”

The paper said the number of children committing sex crimes had doubled from 128 in 2012 to 254 last year and the figures could be higher as several forces did not respond to its FoI request.

No legal action was taken over the incidents as the criminal age of responsibility in England and Wales is 10.

Figures from the Met suggest they recorded a total of 2,823 crimes of all types perpetrated by one to 10 year olds between 2011 and 2014.

But the force warned there were errors in the recording of some its data, citing a rape suspect’s age being entered as one and many other ages simply recorded as zero because the suspect ‘s age was unknown to the officer entering the data.

Published: Sunday 1st February 2015 by The News Editor

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