Claims of child-on-child abuse have doubled in two-year period, BBC Panorama report

Claims of child-on-child abuse in England and Wales more than doubled in the two years up to 2019, it has been reported.

According to a BBC Panorama investigation, police figures show there were 16,102 reported cases of sexual abuse between people aged under 18 between April 2018 and March 2019.

This was up from 7,866 in 2016-17. There were 14,915 cases in 2019-20.

The BBC says 34 out of 43 police forces in England and Wales responded to a Freedom of Information request asking for the number of sexual offence reports, including rape and sexual assault, where both the alleged perpetrator and victim were under 18.

The online offence of non-consensual sharing of private sexual images or videos was not included in the figures.

The alleged perpetrator was aged 10 or under in 10% of the reported cases, with boys the alleged abusers around 90% of the time. Eight of 10 alleged victims are girls.

Vicky Ford MP, Minister for Children and Families in England, told Panorama: “We’ve strengthened (guidance) every year, specific advice on keeping children safe and education from sexual abuse.”

She added the Government had also launched safeguarding partnerships between schools, the police and social services to help schools tackle the problem.

The Welsh Government told the broadcaster that guidance had been issued to support schools in creating a safe learning environment for children.

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