1. ITV Report

Sharp rise in child sex grooming in Cambridgeshire

In Cambridgeshire, police recorded 26 grooming offences this year Credit: PA

There's been a stark rise in the number of child sex grooming offences in Cambridgeshire in the last year.

Figures from the Home Office show there were 26 offences recorded in the county last year - compared to six the year before.

In the East of England, 217 grooming offences were recorded in the last year - that's up from 186 in 2015-16.

Grooming offences against children have risen an alarming 64 per cent across England and Wales in just one year Credit: PA

From April this year, it became illegal to send a sexual message to a child, following the NSPCC’s Flaw in the Law campaign.

The charity's chief executive Peter Wanless said: “More young people are speaking up about sexual grooming, and it’s vital that now more than ever police are given the training and the resources to tackle this issue.

"Groomers need to be stopped before they go to meet their victim, and following the NSPCC’s Flaw in the Law campaign police now have the tools they need to intervene before abuse escalates."

Sexual Grooming is one of the most-increased recorded offences over the last year. Credit: PA

In the last year, grooming offences against children in most counties in the East of England was up, apart from in Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and Suffolk.

  • Bedfordshire - 17 (14 in 2015-16)
  • Hertfordshire - 11 (16 in 2015-16)
  • Northamptonshire - 17 (23 in 2015-16)
  • Cambridgeshire - 26 (6 in 2015-16)
  • Essex - 54 (50 in 2015-16)
  • Norfolk - 17 (16 in 2015-16)
  • Suffolk - 27 (48 in 2015-16)
  • Thames Valley - 48 (13 in 2015-16)
The NSPCC is warning young people about how to spot signs of grooming. Credit: PA
  • Young people affected by grooming can contact Childline on 0800 11 11.