Supporting child victims of serious sexual crime
The report from the NSPCC reinforces concerns raised by Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, in our recent report on serious sexual crime in Essex.
Both in Essex and nationally, there has been a year-on-year increase in all serious sexual offences against both adults and children reported to the police of 32 per cent. This suggests that whatever is happening in our county is reflected across the country.
In 2014-15, there were 985 serious sexual offences against children reported to Essex Police, of which 361 were rapes. Under UK law, a child is defined as a person under the age of 18 so the recorded offences capture a wide range of age groups. It should shock us as a society that almost every single day, the rape of a child is being reported to Essex Police
Nick Alston and I are determined to continue to work with specialist agencies such as the rape crisis centres and children’s charities to support and safeguard child victims, and continue to drive a renewed focus in Essex Police on these heinous crimes.
We are encouraged that more victims have the confidence to report serious sexual crime to police. It is essential that police are able to bring the perpetrators of these horrific crimes to justice, and that victims can receive the support and safeguarding they need from specialist agencies.”
Lindsay Whitehouse, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex
For the PCC’s recent analysis of all serious sexual offences reported to Essex Police, please see here.
For details of the work of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex in commissioning and supporting work to support and safeguard victims, please see here.
If you want support and access to safeguarding services, you can also use the Essex Victims Gateway to learn of specialist support services in your area with advisors trained in working with victims of serious sexual offences. The Essex Victims Gateway can be accessed at the following link:
Essex has outstanding specialist agencies such as the South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre (SERICC) who can be contacted on 01375 380609, the Southend-on-Sea Rape Crisis (SoSRC) contactable on 01702 667590, and the Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse (CARA), whose number is 01206 769795.
We must continue to act to combat serious sexual crime, to bring perpetrators to justice, and to support victims.