Reported child-on-child sex offences ‘tip of the iceberg’
Reports of sexual assaults by children on other children are rising, according to police figures seen by BBC Panorama. But those reported cases are only the “tip of the iceberg”, according to one police child abuse expert
The number of reported sexual offences by under-18s on other under-18s in England and Wales rose by 71% from 4,603 from 2013-14 to 7,866 from 2016-17, according to figures from a Freedom of Information request.
A total of 38 out of the 43 forces in England and Wales responded.
The number of reported rapes among under-18s rose 46% from 1,521 to 2,223 over the same period, according to 32 police forces that supplied a breakdown of figures.
Reports of sexual offences on schools premises also increased from 386 in 2013-14 to 922 in 2016-17, according to 31 police forces – including 225 rapes on school grounds over the four years.
Source: BBC News
Looked-after children statistics, published today by the Department for Education
The number of children in local authority care under section 20 arrangements has fallen to its lowest point in seven years, government statistics show.
Looked-after children statistics, published today by the Department for Education, showed 16,470 children lived in the voluntary care arrangements at 31 March 2017, compared to 19,350 at the same point in 2015. This is the lowest number of children cared for under the arrangement since this dataset was first published in 2010.
Section 20 practice came under increased scrutiny in 2015 when the president of the family courts, Sir James Munby, issued guidance to try to stamp out “misuse and abuse”’ of the arrangement, which does not require a legal order and is done with the consent of the parents.
Since that time, the number of children in section 20 arrangements has fallen to pre-2013 levels, despite the number of looked-after children overall reaching its highest level in more than 30 years.