Wiltshire children getting sexually abused more online

Wiltshire children getting sexually abused more online

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 7:16am 25th June 2019.

54 offences of cyber-related sex crimes were reported last year according to a charity.

The NSPCC's revealed there's been an increase in Wiltshire since 2015/6 when there just 10 incidents.

Across the country police recorded 22 offences a day last year in 2018/9, that's almost one an hour.

A record 8,224 child sexual offences logged by police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had an online element, according to figures obtained by the charity through a Freedom of Information request.

 13 was the most common age of victims, where age was recorded but there were 185 offences committed against children aged ten and under, even including babies yet to reach their first birthday.

The charity is now calling for the next Prime Minister to introduce laws to force social media firms to protect children better.

REAL LIFE VICTIM:

This is just one of the many incidents in the South West region, the names have been changed to protect those involved.

Molly was 15 when she met Gavin at a youth organisation, and began talking online.

After a month and a half of talking to Gavin, the messages began getting more personal and sexual. She deleted the messages as she felt disgusted. He would send her messages asking to pick her up and take her to school. When she would ask if a friend could come along, he would refuse. He began to park outside her house and text her to tell her to go his car and sit with him.

After reporting the incidents to Police, she spent three days hiding away in her bedroom and stopped going to school

Molly thinks a change in the law would help a lot of young people who are receiving sexual messages from adults and unsure of how to handle the situation.

computer keyboard
Wiltshire Police recorded 54 offences of cyber-related sex crimes last year.

FIGURES JUST TIP OF ICEBERG:

The NSPCC fears that the figures may not reveal the true extent of the problem due to potential under-recording of the role of online in these crimes and wide logging variation across forces. It also comes on top of other online harms against children recorded by police such as indecent image offences.

The worrying figures have been revealed ahead of the NSPCC's flagship annual conference How Safe Are Our Children? which begins today (25th June) in London.

It comes just days before the Government closes its consultation on its Online Harms White Paper, which proposes to introduce an independent regulator to enforce a legal duty of care on tech companies to keep users safe on their platforms.

The NSPCC has led the charge on this for the past two years with its Wild West Web campaign.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEO, said:


"Behind each offence is a child suffering at the hands of sex offenders and, worryingly, we know these figures are the tip of the iceberg. Far too many children are drowning in a sea of online threats so it's now time for the next Prime Minister, whoever he may be, to cast out the life jacket. "He must hold his nerve and introduce an independent regulator to protect children from the risks of abuse and harmful content."

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