Shocking revelations of child sex abuse from celebrities like Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris and Gary Glitter have created a surge in victims reporting sexual offences here in Hucknall.
Police figures show there has been a huge increase in the number of sexual offences being reported since the high profile cases hit the headlines.
Hucknall has had 29 such cases reported so far this year compared to just 15 last year, resulting in an increase of 107 per cent.
Although several of these crimes relate to exposure, a significant amount are historical child abuse cases with some stretching back to the 1960s.
“Child sex abuse was a taboo subject in the past and very much kept under wraps,” said Sgt Simon Scales of Hucknall police. “But since Operation Yewtree, with high profile cases like Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris, it has brought such cases out of the dark and increased the awareness of such terrible crimes.
“Seeing Rolf Harris, Gary Glitter and many others convicted has given other victims of child abuse the confidence to shout up and be resilient enough to come out and tell us what happened to them and fight for justice.”
The offences reported range from touching through to rape from family members and within schools.
“Every report will be attended by a police officer who will speak to the victim and take details before being referred to the Public Protection Unit which is made up of experienced officers who will investigate,” added Sgt Scales. “They also work with partner agencies who can offer the victims support both through the court process and beyond to ensure they are helped through what is a traumatic experience.”
Hucknall is not alone in seeing an increase in reported sexual offences in recent months with crime figures for the Nottinghamshire force also seeing significant rises which mirrors the national picture.
“We want to encourage more victims of such crimes to come forward,” added the town’s sergeant. “Sometimes the act of reporting these crimes can release the stress of the secret for the victim and give them access to the support they need.
“Even though Jimmy Savile was perceived to be a saint and Rolf Harris was seen as a loveable grandad figure, this doesn’t take away from what they actually were.
“Crime needs investigating and if one person has been a victim of child abuse there may have been more. It’s about justice.”
Children’s charity the NSPCC are continuing the fight to tackle child abuse and have to recognised that the number of children being abused in today’s society is on the increase.
Sandra McNair of NSPCC Midlands, said: “Child abuse will continue to influence a person’s life long after the event has passed.
“It is clear that government needs to ‘up the ante’ and ensure tackling child abuse is a top priority. We need an early intervention approach, investing in services and support that prevent problems before they start, to improve the lives of children and families.”
To report a sexual offence call Notts Police on 101. Help for adults concerned about a child call the NSPCC free helpline on 0808 800 5000. Help for children and young people call ChildLine on 0800 1111.