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Essex Police referred to IPCC over deputy head paedophile investigation

Published November 13, 2014 by JS2

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Essex Police is to be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over allegations they failed to act on information over child sex abuse images.

It relates to former deputy head of Southend school Thorpe Hall, Martin Goldberg, for failing to properly investigate for more than a year evidence he have been a paedophile.

The 46-year-old killed himself in September a day after being confronted by police over videos of naked boys he had bought online.

Following his death, it emerged he had been filming and photographing dozens of boys in the changing rooms of the fee-paying school using a camera hidden in a rucksack.

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Essex police were told about concerns about Goldberg by the National Crime Agency in November 2013 which itself had been tipped off in July 2012 by Canadian police investigating customers of a Canadian website selling videos of child abuse.

On September 30, the IPCC received a referral from Essex Police relating to the force’s delay in responding to the information provided by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in November 2013.

The information led to the force’s contact with Martin Goldberg prior to his death. The IPCC also received a number of complaints from individuals affected by the case.

The force made referrals to the IPCC in relation to intelligence they received from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). After careful assessment they will now be independently investigated.

IPCC deputy chairman Sarah Green said: “There is rightly considerable public concern about how police forces deal with sexual offences involving children.

“The IPCC takes this issue seriously and proactively contacted the force and asked them to review their handling of intelligence to determine the scale of any issues.

“Our investigations will examine carefully how intelligence from CEOP was dealt with by these three forces.”

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Paedophile doctor used ‘pen cam’ to film victims: 18 boys molested by consultant may be fraction of true number after series of blunders by officials

Published November 11, 2014 by JS2
  • Paedophile doctor Myles Bradbury used a spy pen while examining children 
  • Bradbury filmed young cancer patients with a pen which has a camera inside
  • Paediatrician was left free for 16 months to wage his campaign of abuse
  • Blunders by the police allowed Bradbury to destroy his sick library of films
  • One patient says Bradbury ‘focused on my private parts’ during examination 

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Paediatric consultant Myles Bradbury used tiny video cameras hidden in pens to film himself abusing young cancer patients

A paedophile doctor used tiny video cameras hidden in pens to film himself abusing young cancer patients, it has emerged.

And the 18 boys as young as eight molested by paediatric consultant Myles Bradbury are probably only a fraction of his victims – as a series of official blunders gave him time to destroy his sick library of films.

The doctor was left free for 16 months to wage his campaign of abuse by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

CEOP had been handed a list of 2,235 suspected British paedophiles in July 2012 by Canadian police – but did nothing for months.

Bradbury, 41, admitted in September to abusing 18 boys. He bought a DVD in 2005 from Azov Films in Canada.

The company advertised on its website ‘just legal’ and ‘naturist’ films. Many were clearly illegal – and were bought by paedophiles worldwide.

It was finally closed down in a Toronto police raid in the summer of 2012 and the concerned officers soon dispatched the names of customers globally.

The company was closed down in 2012 and the names of customers passed to police forces worldwide.

But it was only when CEOP was absorbed by the National Crime Agency last November that Bradbury’s name was passed to Suffolk police.

The force only raided the house he shared with his then pregnant wife, in Herringswell, three weeks later.

They discovered Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge had suspended him two weeks earlier after a child’s parents complained about an ‘intimate examination’.

His wife admitted he had thrown his laptop away at the same time.

Police traced Bradbury’s rubbish and unearthed the laptop but the memory inside had been removed, and with it potential evidence of countless more victims.

However a disc containing 16,000 images of abuse and two specially adapted spy pens were found in a garden annexe.

Each had a small camera above the clip. Footage was downloaded by plugging into a computer.

An inquiry has since been mounted into CEOP and police failures.

One patient examined – and possibly filmed by Bradbury – yesterday told the BBC: ‘He would ask to get me in the room on my own, and say I’m old enough to go in a room on my own.

‘And then he’d want to check me. Instead of checking just my joints, he’d want to check my whole body.

‘He’d make me strip down. He focused on my private parts.’

Speaking of the possibility that there were many more victims of Bradbury, Det Sgt John Ling of Suffolk police yesterday told the BBC: ‘Unfortunately the hard drive had been removed from the laptop.

‘I don’t know how many examinations he’s done, so I don’t know how many possible cases there are of live abuse by him.

‘So how many movies of examinations were on that hard drive we’ll never know.’

In Canada, Det Sgt Kim Gross, who leads the Toronto child exploitation team, spoke of her dismay at how CEOP in London had ‘dropped the ball’.

Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, suspended Bradbury after a complaint about an 'intimate examination'

Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, suspended Bradbury after a complaint about an ‘intimate examination’

Det Sgt Gross said: ‘If I had failed that badly I would walk away from the work and have someone replace me.’

She added that all officers investigating potential paedophiles should follow a simple checklist.

She said: ‘Number one – we will look to see if they have access to children.

‘Then their occupation. Do they have access to other children? Are they parents? Are they involved in organisations that service children?’

A Suffolk police spokesman said: ‘Before a search warrant could be applied for, an intelligence picture of each individual had to be built to ensure… any action was proportionate and thorough.’

Niel Sears

Paedophile Cases Unsolved Years After Tip-Offs

Published October 20, 2014 by JS2

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UK authorities come under fire as data shows hundreds of cases are still being investigated years after receiving intelligence.

British police forces are still investigating hundreds of cases involving suspected paedophiles more than two years after evidence was first passed to UK authorities.

Figures show that more than 200 suspects are still being investigated after details were first passed to the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP) by Canadian police in July 2012.

Among the 21 UK forces that were able to provide a detailed breakdown of the Canadian cases – which came out of an international sting operation dubbed Operation Spade – 271 are still ongoing.

The data, obtained by the Press Association, also showed that from 724 referrals, 34 people had been charged and five had accepted cautions.

Controversy was sparked when it emerged that the tip-offs included information about disgraced Cambridgeshire medic Myles Bradbury and teachers Martin Goldberg and Gareth Williams, who both secretly filmed children.

Goldberg, who worked at Thorpe Hall School in Southend, was found to have hundreds of images of schoolchildren on his computer when he was discovered dead at his Essex home, while Williams, from Cardiff, is now serving a five-year jail term.

Pete Saunders, from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, criticised the authorities for failing to act quickly enough on the information.

He told Sky News: “People who access these kinds of images are a danger to children – the fact we’re doing nothing about it is the main concern.

“The other concern is it demonstrates once again that there are large parts of society, or authorities or institutions who simply refuse to believe or to accept the seriousness of the crimes that are in front of their eyes.”

Child protection expert Jim Gamble, who was chief executive of CEOP until he resigned in 2010, warned that similar delays could happen again.

He said: “These mistakes correlate directly to the lack of investment that has been made in child protection resources, especially in areas where the internet is involved.

“This Government clearly does not understand the issues, they allowed CEOP to wither on the vine.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “The NCA is currently leading an unprecedented operation against online child abusers in the UK.

“CEOP was brought into the NCA to ensure child abuse investigators have access to the agency’s extensive crime-fighting resources and global expertise, which includes officers in 40 countries around the world.

“The move has also strengthened CEOP by ensuring investigators have specialist support to draw on, such as the National Cyber Crime Unit.

“We will always ensure police and other crime-fighting agencies have access to the powers and resources they need to tackle child abuse in all its forms.”

zie video’s http://news.sky.com/story/1356353/paedophile-cases-unsolved-years-after-tip-offs

Child abuse search warrants ‘refused on age of information’

Published October 5, 2014 by JS2

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Delays in a police force receiving details on child abuse suspects from the UK agency tackling such abuse online, has led to search warrants being refused, it has emerged.

Bedfordshire Police said it tried to search homes as part of the global child exploitation sting Project Spade.

But magistrates refused permission, saying the 17-month delay meant the information was too old, police said.

Former child protection head Jim Gamble called it “ridiculous”.

The Judicial Office refused to comment.

Toronto Police in Canada gave the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) details about 2,345 UK suspects in July 2012 after they were caught buying suspect videos online.

‘Foolhardy and risky’

But the images were graded as the lowest risk and were not passed from CEOP onto local police forces for more than a year.

That decision is currently the subject of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Since then high profile abusers have emerged from these suspects, including a Cambridge doctor who preyed on terminally ill children and a Southend teacher who filmed his pupils undressing.

The BBC has learned 153 suspects from Project Spade come from the East of England, according to figures from seven out of eight of the region’s police forces.

Project Spade investigations

Police force How many suspects identified by CEOP? What happened next?
Bedfordshire Police 15 No prosecutions so far. Two cases ongoing
Cambridgeshire Police 24 Investigations carried out on eight suspects, but no further details released
Essex Police 35 Five charges against a fireman, three against a bus driver over indecent images. One suspect teacher found dead
Hertfordshire Police 25 Five people arrested and bailed, including a nursery worker and two teachers
Norfolk Police 23 Ten people charged with offences including making and possessing indecent images. Occupations include an antiques dealer, a mechanic and a lorry driver. Five people so far convicted
Northamptonshire Police 13 No arrests, but one suspect questioned over another investigation
Suffolk Police 18 One suspect apaedophile doctor. Another man charged, one man bailed and another released. Five men out of the country. One man already jailed for a rape. Four suspects outstanding
Thames Valley Police No information provided No information provided

In Bedfordshire three warrants were refused “due to the age of the intelligence and the timescale difference of when the force received the information”, police said.

Hertfordshire Police said five cases had not progressed “due to the age of offences and lack of supporting evidence”, but it has yet to say whether it was refused search warrants.

Jim Gamble, who ran CEOP between 2006 and 2010, said magistrates’ decisions to refuse warrants apparently on the basis of the time delay , were “almost unbelievable” and “ridiculous”.

“There’s no denying there was a huge error at CEOP, in part due to the huge pressure that staff there are under,” he said.

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Paedophile doctor Myles Bradbury emerged from a list of “low risk” suspects

When would a magistrate refuse a warrant?Paul Allen, from the Magistrates’ Association, said in many cases search warrants are refused because the magistrate has either not been given enough information or the cases are too old.

“The older it is, the less likely magistrates are to grant it,” he said.

“For example, if it was a drugs case and officers came to me requesting a warrant a month later, it’s very likely the drugs would no longer be at the house.

“Magistrates are quite within their rights not to grant a warrant unless further information shows that what they are looking for is going to be in the house.

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“But it’s foolhardy and risky for magistrates to ignore cases on the basis of them going stale.

“Experience shows it is never just once that people offend, they gravitate from online viewing to offline doing.”

Regarding the Bedfordshire warrants, he said the force should “seriously revisit and seek alternatives if possible”.

Bedfordshire Police has declined to comment further.

A spokesman for the Judicial Office, part of the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, said it does not comment on individual cases. Thames Valley Police was asked how many suspects from the CEOP information were within its force area and what actions were taken, but did not provide the BBC with the information.

BBC

Senior investigators at the National Crime Agency, pictured, sat on the names of 2,345 suspects for at least 14 months, it has emerged

Published October 4, 2014 by JS2
  • How detectives let child porn suspects off hook: They sat on list of 2,300 paedophiles for 14 months – but did nothing Investigators at National Crime Agency sat on the names of 2,345 suspects 
  • By the time police forces got involved, little action could be taken 
  • The list of names was provided by Canadian police in July 2012 
  • Came after they smashed online store that specialised in indecent images
  • But NCA apparently left the file gathering dust until November 2013

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Senior investigators at the National Crime Agency, pictured, sat on the names of 2,345 suspects for at least 14 months, it has emerged 
Hundreds of paedophiles will escape justice because Britain’s crime agency failed to act on a cache of information.

Senior investigators at the National Crime Agency (NCA) sat on the names of 2,345 suspects for at least 14 months, it emerged last night.

By the time local police forces got involved, little action could be taken because of the time that had passed, and some of the suspects had even died.

The list of names was provided by Canadian police in July 2012 after they smashed a notorious online store that specialised in indecent images of naked children. Officers in Toronto identified thousands of potential paedophiles and passed the names to forces worldwide via Interpol.

But the NCA apparently left the file gathering dust until November 2013, when it passed it on to police forces. Even then some forces failed to act for months.

Many cases have now had to be abandoned because the information was simply out of date.

Bedfordshire Police said the ‘age of the intelligence and the timescale difference’ meant that in three cases magistrates refused to grant search warrants.

Hertfordshire Police said no action was taken against five suspects due to the ‘age of the offence and lack of supporting evidence’.

In West Yorkshire, 60 suspects were identified but none was arrested, even though further investigations were carried out. The force did not explain why. The failings were highlighted this week as it emerged paedophile Martin Goldberg, 46, a deputy head teacher at a boys’ school in Southend, was only visited by Essex Police last month, ten months after the NCA passed on his name from the list and more than two years after the Canadian inquiry, known as Project Spade.

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Teacher John Cowell, who was named on the list

Police and national crime investigators did nothing about a paedophile teacher for 18 months.

John Cowell, 60, from Essex, who had worked at a £26,000-a-year boarding school and as a school bus driver, was on the list of around 2,500 British suspected paedophiles identified by a Canadian inquiry and handed over to the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre in July 2012.

The NCA only sent the names out to police forces in November last year – and Essex police then waited until January to visit Cowell at his home in Thaxted.

Last week, a court finally barred him from working with children in classrooms or on school buses.

Police found 228 indecent images and videos of young boys, aged 10 to 14, at the retired teacher’s home.

But Cowell, who pleaded guilty, walked free from court with a three-year community order.

He is the only one of 35 suspected Essex paedophiles identified by Canadian police to be convicted. Most remain under investigation.

Cancer specialist Myles Bradbury, who was found guilty of child sex offences last month, was not arrested for 16 months after his name was given to the NCA.

The revelations came as children’s charity the NSPCC said police are struggling to cope with the mountain of child abuse images they have to deal with.

Experts said they are ‘gravely concerned’ that some police forces do not have enough resources to investigate online abuse.

Doubts were also raised about the NCA. Critics said the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, the unit of the NCA that received the Canadian intelligence in 2012 and which was absorbed into the NCA when it took over in 2013, is also struggling to keep up with the flood of child abuse cases.

The failings are a huge embarrassment for the fledgling NCA, created by the Government as Britain’s answer to the FBI.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it is now assessing whether to launch a full inquiry – which would be the first the NCA has faced.

John Carr, a child safety expert and Home Office adviser, said police must act on sensitive intelligence when it is ‘fresh’.

This information needs to be fresh and police need to take action as soon as they possibly can to catch offenders

He said: ‘The whole reason for the existence of CEOP and the NCA is to handle and pass on information like this to local forces to act on.

‘I can only imagine it is the sheer volume of reports that is behind this, there cannot be any other reason as this is what they are there to do.

‘This information needs to be fresh and police need to take action as soon as they possibly can to catch offenders and safeguard children.’

A spokesman said one line of investigation is why the NCA did not refer the case to the watchdog in November 2013 when it first realised the CEOP unit had failed to pass on the list of names to police forces.

The NCA declined to comment on the latest revelations and instead referred to a statement that it had posted on its website three weeks ago.

Deputy Director Phil Gormley has ordered a review of how the material was handled by CEOP before the NCA took full control in October 2013.

Daily Mail

New trends in child sexual abuse offending reported by CEOP

Published July 4, 2013 by JS2

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New trends in child sexual abuse offending and the growing availability of the internet in the developing world are likely to exacerbate the threat to children, the latest findings from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre warn.

In its annual Threat Assessment of Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (TACSEA), the use of the ‘hidden internet’ and the live streaming of abuse are identified as new ways that offender’s are sexually abusing children.

The TACSEA, which sets out where CEOP will focus its activity in the coming year, as the organisation moves into the National Crime Agency (NCA) in October 2013, outlines four key threats:

  • the proliferation of indecent images of children,
  • online sexual exploitation,
  • transnational child sexual abuse; and
  • contact child sexual abuse.

Other key findings show that approximately 190,000 UK children (1 in 58) will suffer contact sexual abuse by a non-related adult before turning 18, with approximately 10,000 new child victims of contact sexual abuse being reported in the UK each year.

A number of different offender types are also identified, including those who target teenagers and young people on their basis of their vulnerability, those who have a long standing sexual interest in children and those that embed themselves in foreign countries for the purpose of child sexual abuse.

CEOP Chief Executive Peter Davies said:

“It’s part of CEOP’s job to inform the public and our partners about how our understanding of the risk to children from sexual exploitation and abuse is developing.  Every year we refresh our assessment and build our operational plans around it.  This year, of course, our assessment will also feed into the wider efforts of the National Crime Agency, whose mission is to protect the public and cut crime.

“Events of the last year show that interest in protecting children, both online and offline, has never been greater and we hope that sharing what we know with as many other people as possible will help make children safer.

“Child protection isn’t the preserve of specialists; it’s the duty of every individual and of society in general.  Only by building a shared understanding of the risks will we be able, collectively, to work effectively to eliminate them.

“Our assessment shows that, sadly, there are still too many children at risk and too many people who would cause them serious harm.  We should all practice zero tolerance to child sexual exploitation and abuse.  While the assessment may not make comfortable reading, that isn’t its purpose; it’s an objective assessment of the issues as we see them but as a result it is also, undoubtedly, a call to action.

“Within the National Crime Agency, the CEOP Command will play a pivotal role in sharing its expertise, specialist resources and knowledge to ensure that children are even safer in the future – not just here in the UK, but also abroad”.

For more information on the work of CEOP, visit www.ceop.police.uk and to access CEOP’s Thinkuknow educational site, visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk.

The full TACSEA report is available here.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

1. Key findings from each key threat include:

Proliferation of indecent images of children 

  • In 2012, CEOP received 8,000 reports of indecent images of children being shared, featuring 70,000 still images and videos – a two-fold increase on previous years
  • Live streaming of child abuse footage is emerging as a growing method of abusers sharing indecent images and videos.
  • There are growing concerns over the use of the hidden internet; UK daily users connecting to secret or encrypted networks increased by two thirds, one of the largest annual increases globally. CEOP expects 20,000 daily UK users by the end of this year (although not all of these will use the hidden internet for criminal means)
  • There has been a 70% increase in the number of female victims under 10 years old
  • 125% increase in the number of level 4 images (Sentencing Council classification)

Online child sexual exploitation

  • Offenders are now investing a smaller amount of time focusing on larger numbers of victims, sometimes in their hundreds (with victims located all around the world)
  • Figures from the past year showed that CEOP received 1,145 reports of online child sexual exploitation.
  • In 69% of cases, the adult failed to sexually abuse a child and the aim of physically meeting a child in order to commit contact sexual abuse was only present in 6.8 per cent of cases.

Transnational child sexual abuse

  • Reports show that the majority of UK offenders who sexually abuse children abroad were not Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s)
  • TCSO behaviour appears to relate less to specific countries, but more  to do with risk factors found in a number of countries
  • There has been an increase in the number of reports of embedded transnational child sexual abuse in Bangladesh
  • There are fears of an increased threat of child sexual abuse in Brazil as more visitors head there over the coming years for the World Cup and Olympic Games.

Contact child sexual abuse 

  • Figures from 25 police forces revealed 2,120 lone perpetrators and 31 forces reported 65 group or gang related offences.
  • A number of offenders have been identified as targeting teenagers and young adults on the basis of their vulnerability rather than due to a specific sexual interest in children (type 1). A second group of offenders (type 2) have a long standing sexual interest in children and may be part of what has previously been described as a ‘paedophile ring.’
  • Figures from police forces show that the majority of type one offenders were categorised as Asian, and 97 per cent of type one offences involved white victims. The TACSEA highlights that the freedom white British children enjoy could make them more vulnerable to abuse. 
  • Lone offending was the most prevalent offence type

2. Child abuse images, not ‘child pornography’

Use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ actually benefits child sexual abusers:

  • it indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser
  • it conjures up images of children posing in ‘provocative’ positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse
  • every photograph captures an actual situation where a child has been abused. This is not pornography.

3. Child abuse image classification

The Sentencing Advisory Guidelines classify child abuse images into five different levels:

  • Level 1:  Images depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity
  • Level 2:  Non-penetrative sexual activity between children, or solo masturbation by a child
  • Level 3:  Non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children
  • Level 4:  Penetrative sexual activity involving a child or children, or both children and adults
  • Level 5:  Sadism or penetration of, or by, an animal

4. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre

CEOP works in both online and offline environments to protect children from sexual exploitation. Full information on all areas of work, as well as online safety messages and access to online reporting, can be found at www.ceop.police.uk

5.  National Crime Agency, CEOP Command

CEOP will retain its operational independence within the context of the NCA; have clear, delegated authority for its budget; continue to include external partners in its governance; retain its well-known brand; retain its mixed economy of staff, from a variety of disciplines and continue its innovative partnerships with the public, private and third sector and have the ability to raise and hold funds from donors.

Further Information

CEOP press office – 0870 000 3434

Streaming of child sexual abuse online on the increase

Published July 2, 2013 by JS2

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Child sexual abuse streamed live over the internet on services like Skype has been flagged as an emerging threat by experts.

An increasing number of offenders in 2012 were seen targeting vulnerable families overseas to set up live access to children over webcams in exchange for payment, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) has found.

In its annual threat assessment of child sexual exploitation and abuse, Ceop also warned that there are increased fears of child sexual abuse in Brazil as more visitors head there over the coming years for the World Cup and Olympic Games.

In 2012, Ceop received 8,000 reports of indecent images of children being shared, featuring a two-fold increase in the number of images and videos on previous years to 70,000.

Ceop chief executive Peter Davies said: “Our assessment shows that, sadly, there are still too many children at risk and too many people who would cause them serious harm. We should all practice zero tolerance to child sexual exploitation and abuse.”

Live streaming was identified as an emerging method of producing and distributing indecent images last year, the report said.

And Ceop warned that this tactic – particularly in the developing world – continues to carry a high risk this year.

Sex offenders are targeting families and children in areas with extreme poverty, rising levels of access to the internet and poor child protection policies, the report said.

The centre also raised concerns about the use of the so-called hidden internet – heavily encrypted forums and pages that allow abusers to cover their tracks when accessing indecent images online.

Meanwhile, Ceop found that there has been a 70% increase in the number of female victims under 10 years old.

Ceop said that a number of offenders have been identified as targeting teenagers and young adults on the basis of their vulnerability rather than due to a specific sexual interest in children. These are known as “type one” offenders and crimes.

And figures from police forces show that the majority of type one offenders were categorised as Asian, and 97% of type one offences involved white victims.

But figures from 25 police forces revealed 2,120 lone perpetrators and 31 forces reported 65 group or gang related offences.

An NSPCC spokeswoman in the UK said: “The evidence the NSPCC has gathered from all police forces in England and Wales shows there are around 20,000 sexual offences against children reported every year and many of the victims are under primary-school age.

“However, we believe this is far from the true situation as many cases are never revealed. And since the Savile sex crimes were revealed, our helpline has experienced an increase in the number of adults reporting cases which happened many years, even decades, earlier.

“While there are cases of children being sexually assaulted by strangers, the vast majority of these offences – around nine out of 10 – are committed by someone the child knows.

“It is crucial that our efforts to protect children from sexual abuse focus on deterrence and prevention and that our focus is the risk to children, both on and offline.”

 

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