54 reports of sexual offences against children under five in past year in Northamptonshire
The number of child sex offences reported in Northamptonshire increased by more than 50 per cent to 668 in 2014-15, according to figures obtained by the NSPCC.
Statistics from a Freedom of Information request to Northamptonshire Police revealed there were 558 female victims, compared to 117 male.
A total of 194 were aged 10 and under, including 54 who were below school age.
In 2013-14, 432 child sex offences were reported and the NSPCC has now called on the Government to increase funding for support services for children who suffer abuse.
In England and Wales, the figure soared by a third to 41,457 over the same period with recorded crimes including rape, grooming and sexual assault.
The NSPCC is calling on the government to increase funding for support services for children who have suffered abuse and ring- fence money for these survivors.
Colin Peak, NSPCC regional head of service for East of England, said: “This dramatic rise is deeply worrying and shows just how extensive this appalling crime has become, claiming many victims every day, every hour.
“Sexual abuse can shatter a child’s mental health. It can leave them anxious, depressed and even suicidal. That is why it is crucial every single child who has endured abuse and needs support must get timely, thorough help so they can learn how to handle disturbing emotions and behaviours and rebuild their lives. Our It’s Time Campaign demands that government make the mental health of abused children a priority so that some of the most vulnerable members of our society can start to recover.”
Northamptonshire Police has been asked for a comment.