Herts and Beds child abuse figures released

The NSPCC released the figures

The NSPCC released the figures - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

FIGURES obtained by the NSPCC have revealed the number of children committing child abuse in Herts and Beds.

Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that 40 cases committed by under-18s were reported in Bedfordshire and 80 cases in Hertfordshire, over the past three years.

The figures showed a decrease in 27 per cent from 15 cases in 2010/11 to 11 cases in 2011/12 in Bedfordshire and a shift of 28 per cent from 28 cases to 20 in Hertfordshire in the same period.

But there are still concerns from the NSPCC.

Claire Lilley, policy advisor at the NSPCC, said: “Although we have seen the number of incidents in Hertfordshire going down over the last three years, any incidents of under 18s abusing children are a real cause for concern, and we need to work with authorities to tackle this problem.”

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The findings follow a report by probation inspectors last month which found that police, social workers and teachers were missing the warning signs that a child may sexually offend.

Marilyn Hawes, who lives in Willian and is founder and director of charity Enough Abuse UK, believes that through behaviour therapy you can make a difference and stop the cycle of abuse.

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She said: “Realistically we will never stop this crime as sadly it is part of the human condition, however with effective and relevant training we can prevent some percentage of abuse.

“For years I have said when I visit schools that what you think is horseplay might not necessarily be so. At the same time heterosexual and homosexual teenagers are experimenting. These youngsters are showing signs of potential abuse and beginning to experiment too.”

Hertfordshire County Council said it was working with all agencies involved in the safeguarding of children to ensure appropriate awareness and training available to frontline staff.

And a spokesman for Bedfordshire Police said the force was pleased to see figures reduced through partnership work, but appreciated more work was to be done.

For more information on Enough Abuse UK go to www.enoughabuseuk.com

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