On 24th October 2019, it was revealed that there have been a total of 1,649 reports of child sexual abuse in Lancashire alone in the last 12 months.
These figures have been obtained by the NSPCC and show an increase of an astonishing 56% since 2015.
In the North West there have been a total of 7,741 sexual offences recorded against children from the national data total being 16,773 for children aged ten and under, and 341 being against babies under the age of one.
Within our specialist abuse department at Farleys Solicitors this increase in reports to the Police has also been reflected in the work we undertake for victims of sexual abuse.
Understandably, following the release of such figures, the NSPCC is calling for provisions of ‘specialised services around the country, with an emphasis on early joined up support from police, local NHS services, children’s services and advocacy for children who have experienced sexual abuse offered in child-friendly spaces.’
Blackburn with Darwen Council have commented that “the Borough have led the way in tackling child sexual abuse and grooming via the police’s award-winning Engage Team.”
Engage was set up in 2006 and is a multi-agency group consisting of the Police, Social Services, the NHS and the charity Parents Against Child Exploitation. It was launched to tackle sexual exploitation of young people and is the successor to Operation Engage, which was a Police led campaign that ran for two years to work with vulnerable people considered to be at risk of being sexually exploited whilst missing from home.
We continue to regularly see articles in the press of convictions being secured for the perpetrators of abuse and as a result many led to victims feeling more confident and assured that they will be believed when they report the matter to the Police.
To name a few, over the last 12 months in Lancashire we have seen the following sentences as a result of child sexual offences:
• 12th October 2018, Grahame Brennand was sentenced to 19 years for historical sex offences on pupils
• 1st November 2018, Ryan Garside of Blackpool was sentenced for 20 offences relating to four child victims
• 12th November 2018, Robert Ewing was sentenced to 14 years for abuse relating to two victims
• 7th February 2019, Andrew Sellen was sentenced for 9 offences of indecent assault and gross indecency in Blackpool
• 1st March 2019, former Army Cadet Captain, George Walker was jailed for a further term following publicity of his previous sentence in 2017.
• 7th June 2019, David Aspden of Burnley was jailed for 5 years following admitting inciting a 12 year old boy to engage in sexual activity
• 8th October 2019, Darren Hudson from Morecambe was jailed for four and a half years over the sexual abuse of a school girl.
Unfortunately, victims of sexual abuse will suffer significant psychological harm due to the actions of their abusers, and for these victims we realise there is unfortunately no getting away from what has happened to them.
With over a decades worth of experience, our specialist team at Farleys understand that by pursuing a claim it can often help clients to bring closure to their ordeal and provide valuable resources to fund medical treatment and therapy that they may require.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of abuse or have been affected by abuse, whilst we appreciate that it is often difficult to talk about what has happened our team is experienced and dedicated to speaking with you in the strictest of confidence. Call our dedicated abuse line on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.