Campaigners have called for “urgent action” after government figures showed a 64 per cent rise in sexual grooming offences against children in just one year.
Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed there were 1,771 grooming offences recorded across England and Wales in the year up to June, rising from 1,080 in the previous year.
NSPCC Chief Executive Peter Wanless said: “This is an enormous rise in recorded grooming offences over such a short period, and the fact that records of grooming offences have increased substantially more than most other crimes shows the need for urgent action.”
A number of regions of Britain saw particularly sharp increases in the number of child grooming offences, with cases in Cambridgeshire quadrupling from last year.
Wales saw the number of cases rise more than 200 per cent, with the ONS data having recorded 119 sexual grooming offences in 2016-2017 compared to just 36 the year before.
“More young people are speaking up about sexual grooming,” said NSPCC Wales head Des Mannion, asserting that “it’s vital that now more than ever police are given the training and the resources to tackle this issue”.
‘Dislike’ and ‘Unfriendliness’ Can Be Hate Crimes, UK Police Confirm
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 25, 2017
Last month, Breitbart London reported on an illegal immigrant found guilty of 14 sex offences including the penetration and sexual assault of a six-year-old girl.
Using pictures he stole from the internet of a young ‘Justin Bieber lookalike’, Mauritius-born Johann Ramchelawon posed as a teenage boy on social media websites such as Facebook in order to groom underage girls and then blackmail them into performing sex acts on webcam.
Sexual grooming of children was one of the offences which showed the biggest increases in this year’s ONS data, which revealed a 13 per cent rise in crime across England and Wales.
While police blamed government cuts for the shocking figures — which showed particularly sharp rises in violent crime including rape, firearms offences, and knife crime — critics have pointed to a recent surfeit of police campaigns on “hate crime” along the arrest of thousands of people for posting “offensive” online comments, to suggest that forces have misplaced priorities.