Reported child-on-child sex offences ‘tip of the iceberg’
Reports of sexual assaults by children on other children are rising, according to police figures seen by BBC Panorama. But those reported cases are only the “tip of the iceberg”, according to one police child abuse expert
The number of reported sexual offences by under-18s on other under-18s in England and Wales rose by 71% from 4,603 from 2013-14 to 7,866 from 2016-17, according to figures from a Freedom of Information request.
A total of 38 out of the 43 forces in England and Wales responded.
The number of reported rapes among under-18s rose 46% from 1,521 to 2,223 over the same period, according to 32 police forces that supplied a breakdown of figures.
Reports of sexual offences on schools premises also increased from 386 in 2013-14 to 922 in 2016-17, according to 31 police forces – including 225 rapes on school grounds over the four years.
Source: BBC News
Looked-after children statistics, published today by the Department for Education
The number of children in local authority care under section 20 arrangements has fallen to its lowest point in seven years, government statistics show.
Looked-after children statistics, published today by the Department for Education, showed 16,470 children lived in the voluntary care arrangements at 31 March 2017, compared to 19,350 at the same point in 2015. This is the lowest number of children cared for under the arrangement since this dataset was first published in 2010.
Section 20 practice came under increased scrutiny in 2015 when the president of the family courts, Sir James Munby, issued guidance to try to stamp out “misuse and abuse”’ of the arrangement, which does not require a legal order and is done with the consent of the parents.
Since that time, the number of children in section 20 arrangements has fallen to pre-2013 levels, despite the number of looked-after children overall reaching its highest level in more than 30 years.
The Office for National Statistics has published a statistical bulletin analysing suicide data and trends. The statistics show that: in 2016, young men aged 15 to 19 in Great Britain are two-and-a-half times more likely to die from suicide than females of the same age.
Source: Suicides in Great Britain: 2016 registrations Date: 07 September 2017
Further information: Suicide in the United Kingdom: dataset
MSPs will quiz football association bosses on progress to improve child protection in the sport when they return to the Scottish parliament today. The Scotsman reports that representatives from the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Youth Football Association will appear before the health and sport committee. The committee has been looking into child protection in sport in the wake of allegations of historical child sexual abuse in football.
More than eight in 10 young people think social media companies should do more to tackle cyberbullying on their platforms, a poll conducted by charities YoungMindsand The Children’s Society has found. The survey of more than 1,000 young people aged between 11 and 25 also revealed that 46 per cent said they had experienced threatening, intimidating or nasty messages via social media, email or text and 14 per cent had experienced online bullying in the last month.
The Children’s Commissioner for England has launched a campaign aimed at parents and carers to help them to encourage their children to enjoy the online world without being totally consumed by it. The campaign, Digital 5 A Day, is based on the NHS’s evidence-based five steps to mental well-being, and gives children and parents practical steps to achieve a balanced digital diet. The five elements of a good digital diet are: connect, be active, get creative, give to others, be mindful.
Source: Children’s Commissioner for England Date: 06 August 2017
Further information: Digital 5 A Day
Child arrests in England and Wales
The Howard League for Penal Reform has published the findings from freedom of information data from 43 police service areas in England and Wales and the British Transport Police. Findings show that: there were 87,525 child arrests in England and Wales in 2016, down from 245,763 in 2010; the number of children in prison fell by 58% between 2010 and 2016.
Source: Howard League for Penal Reform Date: 07 August 2017
Further information: Child arrests in England and Wales 2016: research briefing (PDF).
Sexual misconduct in schools
The Guardian reports that figures from a freedom of information request by the Press Association found that 754 children in 15 local authorities in England had been expelled or temporarily excluded from primary or secondary school as a result of sexual misconduct in the past four years.
Source: Guardian Date: 09 August 2017.
Schools need a coherent strategy for lockdown procedures in case of a dangerous event taking place on their premises, a teaching union said.
The BBCreports that the NASUWT said schools currently had ad hoc drills to deal with various threats and called on the government to put together a comprehensive plan. More than 200 head teachers in West Yorkshire have attended council-run seminars providing advice on lockdowns.
Preventing bullying in schools
The Department for Education (DfE) has published a new version of ‘Preventing and tackling bullying’ outlining: the government’s approach to bullying; legal obligations and the powers schools have to tackle bullying; and the principles which underpin the most effective anti-bullying strategies in schools in England. The advice also lists further resources through which school staff can access specialist information on the specific issues that they face.
Source: DfE Date: 04 July 2017
Further information: Preventing and tackling bullying: advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies (PDF)