Tackling child sexual abuse is a priority for every police force
We remain committed to working with partners to tackle child sexual abuse in all its forms.
National Police Chiefs' Council lead for Child Sexual Abuse, Chief Constable Simon Bailey said:
"Tackling child sexual abuse (CSA) is part of the Strategic Policing Requirement and a priority for every police force in England and Wales.
"Over the last four years, we have seen an estimated 80 per cent increase in the reporting of CSA to police, with non-recent and online abuse forming the key growth areas. Despite this, research by the Children’s Commissioner for England suggests that as few as one in eight offences are currently being reported to police or our safeguarding partners. I believe today's figures are the tip of the iceberg.
“More research is needed to understand these trends and whether they reflect greater confidence among victims to come forward, better identification by professionals, or an actual increase in offending.
"In my view as national lead, it is likely to be a combination of all three. But without doubt the digital world has opened up new avenues for potential perpetrators to gain access to children and act on their sexual interests.
“We welcome this research by the NSPCC and remain committed to working alongside partners, including the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command, to tackle child sexual abuse in all its forms.”