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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Scale of Child on Child Sex Abuse in North Yorkshire Revealed

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12:13pm 4th March 2013

The number of sex attacks on children by other young people in North Yorkshire have been released.

In the last three years, there were 69 sexual crimes including rape, with the youngest attacker just 11 years old.

In Humberside, there were 654 crimes with the youngest abusers just five and seven years old.

Over 93% of the 595 offenders in Humberside were boys.

Claire Lilley, policy advisor at the NSPCC, said:

"We hope our findings will ring alarm bells with the authorities that this is a problem which needs urgent attention.

"In some cases older children are attacking younger ones and in other cases it's sexual violence within a teenage relationship. While more research needs to be done on this problem, we know that technology and easy access to sexual material is warping young people's views of what is 'normal' or acceptable behaviour.

"We are treating an increasing number of children who have carried out online grooming, harassment in chatrooms and 'sexting'.

"Children who are sexually abusive have often been victims of abuse, harm and trauma themselves. Exposure to this can make them think abusing someone or being sexually violent is ok.

"But evidence shows that most young people who receive behaviour changing treatment early on, such as that offered by the NSPCC, will not continue to sexually abuse others or grow into adult offenders. If we are to tackle this growing problem and protect young victims, more needs to be done to identify and treat children at risk of sexually offending. And we must do more to shield young people from an increasingly sexualised society."

Any adult worried about a child or in need of help and advice can contact the NSPCC's helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children and young people can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111.

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