The number of sexual offences against children recorded by police in England and Wales has risen by a third.
Figures revealed today by the NSPCC show the increase in sexual offences against children between 2013-14.
Latest figures from Lancashire Police show there has been a 12 per cent increase in recorded sex offences against children from 870 in 2012-13 to 977 last year (2013-14).
Nationally, a total of 31,238 offences – 85 a day – including rape, sexual assault and grooming, were reported to police.
The majority of victims were aged 12 to 16, although more than one in four (8,282) were younger than eleven.
Among these were 2,895 aged five and under – including 94 babies.
Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive said: “These figures are disturbing and clearly illustrate child sexual abuse is a continuing and widespread problem that needs urgent action.
“But we know this is still only a fraction of the true number of victims because some endure an agonising wait of many years before telling anyone – and others never reveal what has happened to them.
“It’s time to throw down the gauntlet to government which has to ensure all sexual abuse victims get specialist treatment to help them recover. By the end of this current Parliament there should be no children living in the shadow of abuse.”
In 2012-13 there were 22,654 offences against children under -18 recorded by 41 police forces across the UK.
NSPCC has said it is not clear why the number of offences has risen, greater awareness may be giving more victims the courage to come forward.
Last year the NSPCC helped 2,400 young victims through its therapeutic recovery programmes, including those programmes offered from the charity’s service centre in Blackpool, but there are not enough services available across the UK to ensure all children who have experienced abuse get the support they need.