Child Sex Assaults in the Thames Valley

4 April 2012, 05:00 | Updated: 5 April 2012, 11:28

1256 children were victims of sexual assaults in the Thames Valley in 2010/11.

The NSPCC says 246 of the victims were under 11-years-old and 69 were five and under.

1018 of the offences were against 11-17 year olds.

Thames Valley Police had the second highest number of reported assaults, behind London's Metropolitan Police.

The figures show across England and Wales 400 sexual assaults against children were reported every week last year, with fewer than one in ten resulting in a conviction.

Dan Russell from the NSPCC, said:

"Many of these distressing offences are committed on extremely young and helpless children, who may not understand what is happening to them and are unable to ask for help.
"The NSPCC is doing what it can by using information like this from the police to tailor our treatment services- different approaches are needed depending on the age of the child.

"But we can’t tackle this problem by ourselves. It requires a major effort from government and the public to give children the protection they need and to provide more therapeutic programmes so the young victims can reduce the debilitating affects of abuse and start to rebuild their lives."

It comes as figures from the Association of Chief Police Officers show Sarah's Law has helped 200 children since it was rolled out nationally last year.

The scheme, which was trialled in Hampshire, allows parents and carers to ask police about anyone with access to their children, then officers can give them the details confidentially if they think it's in the child's interests.

At least 160 disclosures relating to child sex offences were made in the last year, along with at least 58 concerning other offences.

It's named after Sarah Payne who was killed by convicted paedophile Roy Whiting in July 2000.

Detective Superintendent Nora Holford, said:

"Thames Valley Police takes safeguarding children extremely seriously and therefore when we do receive allegations of offences against young people they are crimed and investigated thoroughly. We work very closely with partner agencies such as local councils, the NSPCC and Barnardo's, to protect vulnerable children and investigate crimes they have been subjected to.
"While the figures for the Thames Valley area are higher than some other forces, it is worth remembering that we cover a large area that includes three counties and some large populations."