Scots police record 3,000 child sex crimes in a year

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About 3,000 sex offences against children were recorded in 2011-12, according to a report on child protection.

Police in Scotland recorded 3,047 sexual offences against
under-18s during the year, 8 per cent of which were rape or attempted rape, the NSPCC report reveals.

The offences include those
related to indecent images.

Nine children were homicide victims in the same period, and police recorded 1,615 offences of cruelty and neglect of children.

The report, How Safe Are Our Children, brings together child-protection figures from other parts of the UK as it considers
action to prevent child abuse.

It shows that Scotland channels 9 per cent of public expenditure into preventive spending, compared with 6 per cent in England and Wales. But the NSPCC says worrying levels of child abuse remain.

Matt Forde, head of NSPCC services in Scotland, said: “Scotland is leading the way in developing a preventive approach to child protection, but we must maintain momentum.

“As long as one child is suffering … that is one child too many. By identifying and supporting vulnerable children and their families early, we can stop abuse before it starts.”