More than 200 allegations of children being raped in Sheffield have been reported to police in the last three years.
The figures for 2013 to 2015 reveal 190 occasions where girls aged under 16 are alleged to have been raped, with a further 36 incidents involving boys of 16 or younger.
The overall number of rape cases in the city has more than doubled between 2013 and 2015, the Star’s Your Right To Know campaign can reveal.
In 2015, a total of 298 rapes were reported across the city – up from 133 in 2013 and 253 in 2014.
At a police meeting earlier this month, Deputy Chief Constable Dawn Copley said the reason for the increase in reported sexual offences across Sheffield and South Yorkshire was not clear.
She said the force was trying to understand whether there has been an increase in offending, an increase in the confidence of victims to come forward or an improvement in the force’s crime recording process.
DCC Copley said it was ‘difficult to know with absolute certainty’ which of the three issues has contributed most to the rise but it was down to the force to ‘bring offenders to justice’.
The safest local policing team areas of the city with the lowest levels of recorded sexual offences were Stannington with nine and Fulwood and Ecclesall and Stocksbridge and Upper Don with 15 each.
A police report said: “South Yorkshire Police continue to encourage victims of rape and sexual offences to report to the police.
“South Yorkshire Police has implemented robust structures to ensure that any report of rape is accurately recorded whether it originates from the victim or someone else.
“These structures maximise the opportunities to safeguard and support individuals, to manage the risk that may be presented to future victims and prosecute offenders.”
A new Sexual Assault Referral Centre opened in Sheffield in April, offering victims of sexual offences a location to provide evidence, as well as speaking to advisors who are independent of the police.
The police report said: “It is hoped that this will encourage victims to come forward for support.”