Child sex cases dou­ble

Home Of­fice fig­ures re­veal large in­crease, with po­lice en­cour­ag­ing more peo­ple to speak out

Staines Informer - - FRONT PAGE - Eleanor Davis

CHILD sex of­fences have dou­bled in Sur­rey over the past four years.

New fig­ures from the Home Of­fice have re­vealed the num­ber of sex­ual of­fences com­mit­ted against chil­dren for the 12 months up to and in­clud­ing Septem­ber 2015.

Sur­rey Po­lice re­ported 508 of­fences dur­ing this pe­riod, in­clud­ing 161 cases of rape.

This was 150% higher than the av­er­age num­ber of child sex crimes recorded for the three pre­vi­ous 12-month pe­ri­ods. In the year to Septem­ber 2012, the force recorded 153 crimes, which rose to 238 in the year to Septem­ber 2014.

Sur­rey’s fig­ures were lower than the na­tional av­er­age, of 508 child sex of­fences in the year to Septem­ber 2015, or 4.4 crimes for ev­ery 10,000 res­i­dents, com­pared with a na­tional av­er­age of 6.4.

Reigate and Banstead had the high­est Sur­rey rate with 90 child sex of­fences in the 12 months to Septem­ber 2015, fol­lowed by Guild­ford at 68, an in­crease of 209.1% on the year be­fore.

In Waver­ley and Elm­bridge there were 55 and 58 cases re­spec­tively, and 37 in Mole Val­ley.

There was an 89.5% rise in child sex of­fences in Run­nymede, with 36 recorded, and a 50% in­crease in Wok­ing.

Across the whole of Eng­land and Wales, po­lice recorded 36,855 child sex of­fences in the year to Septem­ber 2015, of which 11,317 were rapes.

This is an in­crease of 75% when com­pared to the av­er­age for the pre­vi­ous three years.

In Sur­rey, bor­oughs with the least amount of recorded cases were Spelthorne, with 20 for the year up to Septem­ber 2015, 31 in Tan­dridge and Sur­rey Heath, and 20 in Ep­som and Ewell.

A spokesman for Sur­rey Po­lice said the force has ‘in­vested sig­nif­i­cantly’ in putting vic­tims at the cen­tre of in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“Sur­rey Po­lice takes sex­ual of­fences against chil­dren and young peo­ple ex­tremely se­ri­ously and this re­mains a pri­or­ity, with the lat­est fig­ures demon­strat­ing the in­creas­ing level of con­fi­dence from vic­tims to come for­ward,” he said.

“Sur­rey Po­lice is com­mit­ted to strong part­ner­ship work­ing to sup­port vic­tims of rape and sex­ual as­sault and works with NHS Eng­land, Sur­rey County Coun­cil, the of­fice of the Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner and other statu­tory and non-statu­tory part­ners to pro­vide sup­port for vic­tims.”

The force said it con­tin­ues to urge any­one who feels they have been a vic­tim of a sex­ual of­fence to re­port it to po­lice on 101, or on­line.

“We will do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to en­sure of­fend­ers are brought to jus­tice,” it said.

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