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Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Analysis Launched

A new report from the Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme (VKPP) shows us a clear picture of reported Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSAE) crimes across England and Wales.  

Collected from 42 police forces, the dataset gives an insight into the scale and nature of CSAE and trends in offending. The report also includes crime types, where they were committed, and presents profiles of both victims and perpetrators. 

The analysis sets out the consistent growth in CSAE reported to police with 107,000 crimes reported to policing a figure that has risen significantly in the last ten years ago. More than half of CSAE offences were committed by children, a significant increase from what was previously known. The report also shows that over a third of CSAE contact crimes take place within the family environment. Group-based CSAE accounts for 5% of all identified and reported CSAE.

National Police Chief's Council

 While it is known that these crimes are significantly under-reported, Police understand the importance of establishing a baseline of recored cases of child abuse and harm to improve future awareness and response.

The report tells us:

  • There were around 107,000 offences reported in 2022 – a 7.6% increase compared to 2021, nearly quadruple what it is was 10 years ago. Evidence continues to suggest many crimes remains unreported. 
  • Around 75% of CSAE offences related to sexual offences committed directly against children, and around 25% relate to online offences of Indecent Images of Children.   
  • The crime types regarding CSAE are changing. For example, historically Child-on-Child abuse accounted for around third of offences. The data in the report suggests that today this is just over half.  
  • CSAE within the family environment remains a common form of reported abuse, accounting for an estimated 33% of reported contact CSAE crime. Parents and siblings were the two most common relationships featuring. 
  • Group-based CSAE accounts for 5% of all identified and reported CSAE ranging from unorganised peer group sharing of imagery, to more organised complex high harm cases with high community impact. 
  • Reported CSAE is heavily gendered, as expected, with males (82% of all CSAE perpetrators) predominantly abusing females (79% of victims). Sexual offending involving male victims are more common in offences involving indecent images and younger children. 
  • The number of recorded incidents of Online Sexual Abuse continues to grow. It accounts for at least 32% of CSAE.  
  • 52% of all CSAE cases involved reports of children (aged 10 to 17) offending against other children with 14 being the most common ageThis is a growing and concerning trend involving a wide range of offending. Whilst some include exploratory online sexual behaviours, some of the most prevalent forms include serious sexual assaults, including rape.  

Source:  news.npcc.police.uk/releases/vkpp-launch-national-analysis-of-police-recorded-child-sexual-abuse-and-exploitation-csae-crimes-report-2022

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