with no convictions or arrests
The number of police investigations into child sexual abuse in the UK is expected to hit 200,000 by 2020, the most senior officer in charge of child protection has said.
Speaking to The Times, Simon Bailey, chief constable for Norfolk Constabulary, said investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse had increased by 80 per cent in the past three years, costing around a billion a year.
Police investigated 70,000 alleged cases of child sexual abuse in the past year alone, each costing an average of £19,000, he said.
“Based on the current trends that we are seeing – and we are seeing no sign of that plateauing out – by 2020 we would be [carrying out] 200,000 investigations,” he told the newspaper.
Operation Midland closed
His comments come as Scotland Yard faces harsh criticism over the handling of Operation Midland, the £2 million inquiry into historical VIP and murder inquiry allegations from the 1970s to 1980s that failed to result in a single conviction.
The head of the National Crime Agency Lynne Owens told The Times separately that she believed the police should be prioritising current sexual abuse cases over historical allegations: “The difference between the two is if it’s still happening, we have a responsibility to try and catch the offender now, at this moment in time.”
Mr Bailey said the police are increasingly putting officers into online environments to target abuse perpetrated or orchestrated over the internet, which he believes is one of the areas where more victims are being abused.
But peer-on-peer abuse involving those aged under 18 account for more than 20 per cent of prosecutions. This includes abuse within gangs used as part of initiation ceremonies, such as forcing a girl to perform oral sex “on boys in a circle,” or abuse within relationships where sexual acts such as making a sex tape are created consensually but are then used as a threat of exposure to by one party to make the other to perform sexual acts.
He also highlighted the damaging impact of porn on young people, citing an instance where a 12-year-old put his penis into the mouth of a four-year-old girl and said: "Well, that's what you do Mum, I've seen it."
This is exactly what I have been saying with regard to the ever-growing culture of rape in young men. The adolescent brain is in the process of re-wiring itself and pornography completely distorts normal development with regard to girls.
It's crazy that ISPs can restrict minors from gambling but won't restrict them from watching pornography. Restricting access to porn should be the least we demand from ISPs. That may make some difference, but won't solve the problem and may not even cause it to plateau. Only completely elimination pornography will make a big difference, and I'm pretty sure that won't happen before Jesus come back!
Mr Bailey called on internet companies to restrict access to porn to adults in the same way gamblers must prove their age before making bets online, but also called for better sex education provided to children by trained professionals as opposed to teachers, many of whom find it too embarrassing.