15 sex abuse crimes committed against children in Scotland every day

Sex offences against children across Scotland in the past year occurred 15 times a day
Sex offences against children across Scotland in the past year occurred 15 times a day
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Sexual offences are committed against children 15 times every day in Scotland, new research has shown.

NSPCC Scotland found there were 5,325 recorded offences, including rape, grooming and sexual assault against children in 2018/19.

Child sex abuse crimes involving the internet or social media have soared across the UK

Child sex abuse crimes involving the internet or social media have soared across the UK

The number of child sex abuse crimes involving the internet or social media has risen by nearly a fifth in the past year across the UK as a whole.

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Charity the NSPCC gathered data from 44 UK police forces that showed there were 76,204 sexual offences against children reported in 2018/19.

This broke down into 5,325 in Scotland; 65,172 in England; 3,671 in Wales; and 2,036 in Northern Ireland.

In total 8,656 involved an online element, up 18 per cent from 7,362 the previous year.

The most common age among victims was 14, although 16,773 offences were recorded against children aged ten and under, with 341 of the offences against babies under the age of one.

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The National Police Chiefs' Council lead for child protection, Chief Constable Simon Bailey, said: "These figures show an 18 per cent increase in child sex offences involving the internet and policing is doing all we can to pursue and prosecute criminals who exploit and abuse young people.

"But much more must be done to stop this abuse happening in the first place.

"Social media and tech companies need to acknowledge their responsibility and do more to stop children accessing harmful content and prevent abuse on their platforms.

"They have a social responsibility to design out this type of offending and to cooperate in full with police investigations into child abuse or exploitation."

The NSPCC is calling for better support for child victims of sexual offences, with help from a range of services such as police, health and social care offered quickly and in one place.