LAST week we released new Freedom of Information data that we received from police forces, showing some of the highest numbers of child sexual abuse offence records ever collected by the charity.

The collated data revealed that during 2022/23 there were almost 87,000 cases of child sexual abuse recorded by police across the UK. Here in Yorkshire, 8,528 offences were recorded in this period, with 3,470 in West Yorkshire alone.

Offences included rape, sexual assault, sexual grooming and sexual exploitation. In the majority of crimes in which the age was known the victims were 11 to 15-year-olds.

The NSPCC, through our Childline counselling service, is here for children whenever they need us. We’re also here to support anyone who might have a concern about a child or young person. As well as releasing these new figures, we have launched a new campaign in partnership with the Home Office, because we want to tackle this growing concern.

Together, we want to encourage the public to contact the NSPCC Helpline if they’re concerned that a child could be at risk or experiencing sexual abuse. The Helpline is staffed by professionals who offer free guidance and advice.

Funding from the Home Office means the Helpline has been able to increase its capacity and raise further awareness of this vital service. This new campaign follows a final report released by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in 2022, which presented evidence and testimonies from thousands of victims and survivors and showed that child sexual abuse and exploitation has been, and remains, under-reported. This means there will be higher numbers of children experiencing sexual abuse than what has been reported to police.

In the 12 months following the publication of the IICSA report, the Helpline was contacted the equivalent of once every hour with concerns from adults about children being sexually abused. It’s always the right decision to contact the Helpline with any concerns and we hope the public feel confident to do so.

If we work together we can do more to protect children from sexual abuse. For parents, sexual abuse can be a difficult topic to discuss with children, our Helpline is there for advice on these difficult conversations. Our Talk PANTS materials on the NSPCC website can help with age-appropriate conversations.

* Email or call 0808 8005000. Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or