Police chief thinks online link to child sex offences will rise

Police chief thinks online link to child sex offences will rise

By Admin | 26/05/2022

Police chief thinks online link to child sex offences will rise

 

FIFTEEN per cent of sex offences committed against children in South Yorkshire have an online element — with the proportion expected to increase.

More than 300 offences out of about 2,000 recorded in the 12 months to April had a connection to the web, Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Poolman (pictured) said.

She added: “There has been a vast amount of work done over the last few years to ensure that officers are far more aware of getting those key words highlighted on our prime recording system, to enable us to understand where this crime type is taking place.

“We have made significant improvements using the online tag.

“I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but it gives us an indication, so 15 per cent is where we’re sitting right now.

“I would suggest that it’s higher, and I would suggest in the future that it’s only going to rise, because as we know, technology, young people are engaging more and more so, they’ve obviously had Covid, that period where young people have not been able to socialise and have been doing it all virtually and that’s become the norm.

“It was already pretty much the norm, but it’s become even more so since Covid, so anticipation that it will rise, and for us to be able to recognise and demonstrate that shows that we’re using that tag appropriately.”

A report to police commissioner Dr Alan Billings stated that since “child matters” training was rolled out across the force, crime recording for child neglect crimes has increased by 174 per cent.

The training — delivered to 4,500 officers, staff and external partners since September 2021 — is a collaboration with the NSPCC.

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