Drop in child sex crime reports in South Kesteven
South Kesteven has seen a significant drop in reports of sexual offences committed against children in the last year.
In 2020, a total of 115 incidents of child sexual abuse were reported to Lincolnshire Police – a 40 per cent drop in the previous year during which 194 cases were reported, while in 2018 171 reports were made.
This fall in offences came after a rise year on year, with 107 in 2016 and 111 incidents in 2017.
Over the last year, around 18 per cent of recorded sex crimes against children in the district were committed by offenders under the age of 18. Ten cases were recorded as ‘assaults on a girl under 13 by touching’, while 12 of the incidents were rape of a girl aged 13, 14 or 15.
Detective Superintendent Martyn Parker, head of protecting vulnerable people, said there has been a rise in cases reported to Lincolnshire Police, which “reflects the national picture and greater awareness of the issue”.
He added: “We have been working hard over several years to make sure that we identify such offences, record them effectively and safeguard victims. Increases reflect confidence in reporting, and encouragement of reporting, for example through the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ campaign.
“Our ultimate aim is to identify every sexual offence committed against a child so we can investigate, bring offenders to justice, and support victims.
“We want to hear from parents, carers, family members or anyone who suspects abuse. Please come to us if you think something is not quite right.”
‘Everyone’s Invited’ – a digital space where victims of sexual abuse could share their stories – launched earlier this year, and has seen a raft of allegations in schools and colleges reported.
Janice Spencer, assistant director for children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Keeping children safe is a priority for the council, and we work closely with our colleagues at the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership to both prevent abuse and support those affected.
“Compared to five years ago, there is now much greater awareness of this issue, and it’s perhaps more likely that incidents will be spotted and reported, which could partly explain the rise in recorded offences.
“We all have a responsibility to help keep children safe, and we’d urge anyone who believes a child may be at risk to report their concerns by calling 01522 782111 (or 01522 782333 outside of office hours).”
Report any incident of child sexual abuse to the police on 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.