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WATCH: Jump in sex crimes against children in Cornwall

WATCH: Jump in sex crimes against children in Cornwall

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 6:52am 16th October 2018. (Updated at 9:34pm 16th October 2018)

The NSPCC relaunches an awareness campaign, as figures reveal a rise in the number of sex crimes against young children in Cornwall and Devon.

The charity says our police recorded 348 offences against youngsters aged between the ages of four and eight in 2016/2017.

That is compared to 299 in the 12 months before and follows a "worrying" trend across the UK, where offences are up 13%

The NSPCC is reminding parents and caregivers across our region the importance of using their Talk PANTS campaign.

The charity says it can be an easy and effective way of bringing up the sensitive issue and talks to young children about how to stay safe from sexual abuse. 

600,000 children across Britain have now seen the PANTS animation and are aware of the 'Pantosaurus'... 

What is behind the increase?

  1. The NSPCC says an easier and more streamlined process of recording these offences, compared to previous years where they may have been peppered through different crime categories, is helping.
  2. There is also increased encouragement for coming forward about this type of offence, where in the past people may have stayed silent.
  3. Finally, there has been a notable rise in the online grooming of children, both in the south-west and across the country - an issue which police are cracking down on and putting preventative measures in place to tackle.  

"Certainly our experience and research is telling us that speaking to children at a young age in a simple way they're going to understand is going to be really effective in terms of making some real in-roads into preventing sexual abuse and exploitation of young children".

Head of Development and Impact at the NSPCC, John Brown

"We know that lots of parents have already used TalkPANTS to speak to their children about the dangers they may face from sexual abuse as they grow up, both in the online and offline world.

"However, the figures we have revealed today show that we all need to do more to help young children learn how to stay safe from sexual abuse, these conversations should be as normal as teaching them to cross the road".

NSPCC CEO, Peter Wanless

How do I know if a child is being abused?

The NSPCC says the warning signs include:

  • Being overly-affectionate towards strangers or people they haven't known for very long
  • Lacking confidence or become wary or anxious
  • Being aggressive or nasty towards other children and/or animals
  • Struggling to control strong emotions or have extreme outbursts
  • Lacking social skills or have few, if any, friends

To help combat the issue, the NSPCC have launched an activitiy pack which you can click to access here.

You can contact the NSPCC with concerns 24 hours a day on their helpline 0808 800 5000.

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