Northampton

Reported child sex crime cases in Northamptonshire increases by 150

The number of reported sex crimes against children in Northamptonshire has risen by nearly 150 in one year, police have said.

In 2011, 386 child sex crime cases were reported compared to 237 cases in 2010.

Det Ch Insp Steven Lingley said the rise suggested more people were coming forward to report sex crimes.

But John Brown, from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said the figure raised "concerns".

Northamptonshire Police is holding a conference in the county to look at how to tackle the problem.

'Unfortunate reality'

The figures showed 136 of the victims had not reached secondary school age and 39 were five or under.

The majority of the offences 250 were committed against 11-17 year olds.

Mr Lingley, the head of protecting vulnerable persons at Northamptonshire Police said: "We are trying to find ways to get better outcomes for children and looking at improving the effectiveness of local safeguarding boards."

Mr Brown said "These figures are a concern to us. The unfortunate reality is that the majority child sex abuse cases go unreported.

The NSPCC said the problem of child sexual abuse needs to be dealt with as a public health problem.

"There needs to be more treatment, advice and support within communities and in schools to ensure that awareness of the problem increases," Mr Brown added.

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