A rise in the number of reported sex offences against children in Suffolk could be due to victims and their families increasingly finding the confidence to report abuse.
Figures obtained by the NSPCC reveal that police in the county recorded 773 child sex offences last year – up by nearly a third from 2016/17 when 608 cases were logged.
The East Anglian Daily Times reports that 140 crimes were recorded against children under the age of ten while 35 were perpetrated against children aged four or younger. One offence was recorded against a baby.
Meanwhile, Essex also saw a rise in offences – up from 1,449 in 2016/17 to 1,531 last year.
Suffolk Police’s Detective Superintendent Eamonn Bridger said the numbers reflected greater confidence victims and their families have in reporting what has happened to them.
“The public is becoming more aware of potential risks that children face from on-line dangers and so we are in part encouraged that more reports are being made to us so that we can ensure robust action is taken.
NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless said the figures suggested police were making “real progress” in how they investigated sex offences against children.
In November, the NSPCC revealed that victims were increasingly finding the confidence to report historic child sex abuse following publicity surrounding high profile cases, like those involving Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris.
The charity found that 630 victims had contacted Suffolk Police to report abuse in the previous four years.
David Hockley, Chief Executive of child sexual abuse charity Fresh Start New Beginnings, added: “I think people perceive they will be believed, more than five or ten years ago, and are more likely to let police know.”
How can our Personal Injury lawyers help?
The lifelong scars caused by child sexual abuse may never fully heal but compensation can provide closure and a chance to move on.
If you have suffered abuse, Gotelee Solicitors’ specialist team of lawyers can provide sensitive care and expert advice should you choose to bring a civil claim.
The Suffolk law firm, which has offices in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Melton, Hadleigh and Woodbridge, is partnered with Ipswich charity Survivors in Transition (SiT) to help guide victims through the process. SiT aims to empower survivors to take control of their lives and cope better with the daily effects the abuse has left them with.
Gotelee is also a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, which help to bring together a team of experts, including doctors, counsellors, psychiatrists and specialist barristers.
To find out how we can help you, contact us on 01473 298125.