Child sex abuse figures '˜truly staggering', says Rotherham MP

A Rotherham MP has described new figures revealing that 3,234 offenders were jailed for child sex offences last year as '˜truly staggering'.

Tuesday, 16th October 2018, 7:44 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th October 2018, 7:48 am
Sarah Champion

But Sarah Champion said the Home Office figures for 2017 '˜only tell part of the story'.

Sarah Champion

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Of the offenders jailed, 20 received life sentences.

The data also shows 1,843 were put behind bars for between one and five years and 300 were sentenced for more then 10 years.

Ms Champion, for Labour, obtained the figures to highlight scale of child abuse in the UK.

"In 2017 alone, 20 people received life sentences for truly abhorrent offences," she said.

"Let us remember that for every crime, there is at least one child whose life has potentially been destroyed.'

She added: "We know only 15 per cent of adult rape victims report to the police - for children this is likely to be even less.

"The release of these statistics proves that child sexual abuse continues to occur in this country on a scandalous scale.

"There is still so much work to be done to prevent it."

The data shows the number of '˜not guilty' pleas rises as the severity of crime increases, Ms Champion said, and it was also clear there were a high number of victims forced to relive the trauma during court trials.

She said: "It's appalling that so many victims, who have already had their lives torn apart, are then dragged through the courts by their abusers.

"It disgusts me that the figures suggest the more serious the offence, the less likely perpetrators are to own up to the crime which would save the victim the court process.

"Victims have to survive their abuse once, only to be forced to relive it all over again in court because of the same abuser."