The Telegraph reports that police have received almost 30,000 reports of children committing sexual offences since 2013, with 2,625 – including 225 alleged rapes – carried out by under-18s on other children on school premises, including primary school playgrounds.
Reports of so-called “peer on peer” abuse rose from 4,603 in 2013 to 7,866 last year, according to the data released by 38 of the 43 police forces across England and Wales in response to freedom of information requests.
Figures from 30 forces show reports of sexual offences by children aged 10 and under have more than doubled from 204 in 2013-14 to 456 in 2016-17.
Experts and charities have long warned of the damaging effect that pornography may be having on childrens’ behaviour with David Cameron, then prime minister, once saying that it was “corroding childhood”.
Almost three-quarters of child sex cases (74%) reported to 36 forces between April 1 2013 and May 31 2017 resulted in no further action, according to the figures obtained by BBC’s Panorama.
Some children – anonymised to protect their identities – who were interviewed by the current affairs programme told how they felt bullied, let down and isolated after reporting abuse.
One victim said: “There was no talk about the police or telling his parents or taking it further, it was only really, ‘oh block him’, or ‘stay away from him in lesson’.”
Government guidance tells teachers they have a legal duty to report allegations of sexual assaults on children by adults. But there is no such duty when a child is accused of sexual assault, with schools advised to follow their own child protection procedures.
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