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366 cases of child-on-child sex abuse in North East

Figures obtained by the NSPCC have revealed that 366 young people in the North East have committed acts of child sex abuse.

The charity found that nationally there were more than 5,000 cases reported to the police in the last three years.

Nearly all (98%) of the 4,562 offenders were boys and at least three out of five of the victims knew their abuser.

While more research needs to be done on this problem, we know that technology and easy access to sexual material is warping young people's views of what is 'normal' or acceptable behaviour.

We are treating an increasing number of children who have carried out online grooming, harassment in chatrooms and 'sexting'.

Children who are sexually abusive have often been victims of abuse, harm and trauma themselves. Exposure to this can make them think abusing someone or being sexually violent is ok.

– Claire Lilley, NSPCC
  1. National

NSPCC hopes abuse findings will ring 'alarm bells'

Claire Lilley, policy adviser at the NSPCC, said she hoped the findings would ring "alarm bells" with authorities that the problem required urgent action.

While more research needs to be done on this problem, we know that technology and easy access to sexual material is warping young people's views of what is 'normal' or acceptable behaviour.

We are treating an increasing number of children who have carried out online grooming, harassment in chatrooms and 'sexting'.

Children who are sexually abusive have often been victims of abuse, harm and trauma themselves. Exposure to this can make them think abusing someone or being sexually violent is ok.

The NSPCC obtained the statistics through Freedom of Information requests to each of the 43 police forces in England and Wales.

But only 34 forces supplied figures - revealing a total of 5,028 offences - so the true number of offences is likely to be higher, the NSPCC said.

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Shearer announces ChildLine service for North East

The footballing legend and NSPCC ambassador is officially launching the new service Credit: PA

Alan Shearer OBE is launching a new ChildLine Schools Service in the region that aims to help local primary school children to understand abuse and how they can stay safe.

The ChildLine service is aiming to visit every primary school in the North East by 2016, and is entirely run by volunteers.

Volunteers will be going into primary schools to deliver assemblies and workshops that they hope will encourage children to recognise situations where they may need help, and let them know where they can get support if they need it.

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NSPCC: Reports of child neglect rising

Paula Telford from the NSPCC in Newcastle believes there are many reasons why the number of cases of child neglect being reported rose last year.

She believes that people are feeling more confident about reporting what they see or hear and wants to encourage more people to use the help lines.

She said: "Ringing the help line doesn't mean the family concerned will automatically be referred on to the police or child services. It may be we can help the family in other ways.

"Most parents want to look after their children properly but just need a helping hand."

NSPCC blames budget cuts for rise in reports of child neglect

Children's charity NSPCC has revealed that the number of cases of child neglect being reported to them is rising.

In the North East and Cumbria 507 concerned people rang the chairty last year, and the number of cases that needed to be referred on to police or children's services increased by 26.7% from the previous year.

"The rise in reports of neglect to the NSPCC comes as local children's services face unprecedented pressures, with more children being taken into care, and more families needing help at a time of significant funding cuts.

Last year 137 children in Newcastle were subject to child protection plans because they were at risk of harm from neglect - up from 113 on the previous year.

Callers to the NSPCC helpline described children going hungry and begging neighbours for food. Others were worried about children left home alone or outside in the cold for hours on end."

– NSPCC spokesperson

Anyone who thinks a child is being neglected, or suffering any kind of abuse, shouldn’t wait until they are certain there’s a problem. Contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or click here to visit their website.

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