Nearly 70 per cent of reports of child sex abuse in Leicestershire have remained unsolved, according to figures released by the police.
The force has published statistics about the number of complaints of sexual offences dating back 18 years, following a Freedom of Information request.
They show there were 7,834 such crimes recorded between 1997 and 2014 – but 5,479 are listed as undetected.
That means no charges or summonses to court were made after they were investigated by officers.
Former foster carer Clive Langley, who lives near Market Harborough, submitted the request for the figures.
He said: “The first thing that struck me was the large numbers of complaints going back over the years.
“There have been nearly 8,000 cases and we know child sexual abuse so often goes unreported.
“Then you see that most cases go undetected and you ask why.
“I would want to know if the police have the resources to deal with these kinds of offences or if they are given the priority they ought to be.
“In other areas, we have found out the police have not believed girls who told them they had been abused.”
Leicestershire Police’s head of serious crime, Detective Superintendent Jon Brown, insisted officers had the resources to deal with inquiries and that handling them was a key priority.
He said: “I can absolutely guarantee that all cases are robustly investigated.
“We will record (the crime) at the first point of contact.
“We have dedicated child abuse officers who are specially trained. And we are absolutely victim focused. That has come from the very top.”
Det Supt Brown said the high level of undetected cases was down to the complex nature of the crimes .
He said: “We are talking about the most sensitive investigations.
“We work alongside specialist Crown Prosecution Service lawyers and we look at what is in the best interests of the victims.
“We have the tools we need. We have the specialist officers and specialist child abuse investigators.”
The Mercury asked Dept Supt Brown if there were organised gangs of men grooming children in Leicester as in other parts of the country.
He said: “I can’t compare ourselves with what’s happening in other parts of the country. We are collecting intelligence. But this isn’t a taboo subject.
“We need people to raise it. If they have concerns about somebody in their community that could be the missing part of the jigsaw.”