The football abuse scandal may have contributed to a large increase in the number of reports of child sex crimes, according to a charity.
Figures released by the NSPCC show the number of recorded offences involving non-recent sexual abuse – where the offence is alleged to have occurred more than a year before it was reported to police - have increased in Nottinghamshire from 245 in 2013/14 to 475 last year. In total there were 1,575 cases recorded over the last four years across the county.
Nationally, more than 60,000 cases of non-recent sexual abuse against children have been recorded over the last four years.
The children’s charity believes this steep rise may, in part, be down to high-profile abuse cases including the football abuse scandal, which began a year ago this week and has seen a dedicated NSPCC Helpline receive more than 2,500 calls.
The NSPCC hope the increase in cases recorded by police will reassure survivors they will be listened to and will see law enforcement taking swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.
It is also encouraging people who need advice about reporting abuse they suffered in the past to contact its Helpline, or if they are under 18 to go to Childline.
Maria, 47, was sexually abused and raped by her biological father at a very young age and still feels the effects of the abuse now.
She said: “I have had breakdowns, have depressive episodes and I’ve attempted suicide as an adult.”
Maria continued: “I went to the police to report my father when I was 25 and the conviction has helped me recover.”
The new non-recent sexual offences figures were obtained following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to police forces in England and Wales and British Transport Police. Figures were also provided by the PSNI.
The true overall number of non-recent offences against children recorded will be higher still with six UK police forces not providing full figures for all four years.
Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: “It doesn’t matter whether the sexual abuse happened a year ago or 50 years ago, it is never too late to report it. It’s clear that for far too long, many people who suffered horrendously as children felt they could not speak up, were not believed or did not know who to turn to.”
Call NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 for support.