Keep up to date with the latest news delivered direct to your Inbox.
Sex Offences by Children 'Missed'
11:25am 7th February 2013
(Updated 11:25am 7th February 2013)
Pirate FM has learnt there are fears sex crimes by children in Cornwall are being missed.
A report, which studied youngsters in the Duchy among others, warns some social workers, teachers and police do not spot warning signs or just can not believe them.
The report by probation inspectors checked twenty-four teenage boys, who committed crimes against children.
They came from Cornwall, London's Tower Hamlets, Sheffield, Birmingham, Lancashire and Vale of Glamorgan.
Teams discovered there had been opportunities to catch and stop the behaviour much earlier in almost every case.
Pirate FM has learnt that between 1st April 2011 and 31st March 2012 there were 45 sex crimes in Cornwall and Devon where both the offender and victim were aged under 18.
The year before there had been 34.
The numbers include sexual assaults and rapes.
Chief inspector of probation Liz Calderbank said: "The most shocking finding was that a third of cases had come to the notice of the authorities - usually either schools or social services - previously. These concerns were not acted on, dismissed, minimised or ignored."
Ms Calderbank added: "This, to us, represents a lost opportunity, both for the children themselves and their potential victims."
Questions were not being asked why the children were displaying sexual behaviour, some from quite a young age, the inspectorate said.
The government said it was "driving up the skills and experience of social workers" to ensure they were better equipped to spot early warning signs.
Meantime, Devon and Cornwall Police said it had recorded 45 sex crimes last year, where both the attacker and victim were under the age of 18.
David O'Neill is Deputy Headteacher and in charge of Child Protection at Treviglas School in Newquay.
He said: "We're very vigilant at the school, and I think most schools are now. Looking at a range of different behaviours, the key word for us is inappropriate. We're very keen to have that discussion with students, with parents. It's very open.
"It's one of the last great taboos really, children being perpetrators. It is incredibly rare, but actually it does happen. Talking about these issues, with children, with parents, can only be a good thing."11:25am 7th February 2013
Share This StoryTweet
Woman has 'life-changing injuries' after crash
Cornwall News: 18-year-old was airlifted near Penzance
Westminster terror attack: Memorial fund for PC Palmer tops £735,000
National News: The family of Westminster terror attack victim PC Keith Palmer say they are "overwhelmed" after a memorial fund in his name raised more than £735,000 in five days.
Val Kilmer slammed for 'creepy' Blanchett tweets
Showbiz News: Val Kilmer has been accused by fans of "creepy and obsessive" behaviour towards actress Cate Blanchett.
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny jailed over anti-Kremlin protests
World News: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been jailed for 15 days for resisting police orders during an anti-government protest.
Scottish Muay Thai boxer Jordan Coe found dead in Thailand
Sports News: A Scottish boxer has died in Thailand of suspected heatstroke.
Mother's Plea to Parents to Give Daughters Life Saving Vaccine
Cornwall News: Pirate FM has learnt less than half of schoolgirls in the Duchy have had the HPV jab