A recent news story revealed that, according to recent statistics, sexual offences committed against children is on the rise in the Manchester area.
The report by the Manchester Evening News detailed that the number had risen by nearly a third within three years. The figures were released by the Greater Manchester Police after a Freedom of Information request, revealed an alarming increase in reported rapes and assaults, with the number of rape cases involving a child rising from 390 to 585 between 2011 and 2014.
The climate surrounding such crimes is highly charged following the shocking results of Operation Yewtree, an investigation into past alleged sexual offences, particularly the abuse of children, which targeted various British media personalities for past offences.
In the aftermath of Yewtree the focus on sexual offences is stronger than ever, with the police under pressure to take more affirmative action and to make more arrests. While it is currently unclear how many of the offences detailed by the Greater Manchester Police are historical offences, cases of historic sexual offences against children have increased rapidly on the whole as a result of the Savile case. This can be attributed to the increased confidence in reporting.
Ann Coffey, the MP for Stockport, released a report on child sexual exploitation in the Grater Manchester area back in October following the Rochdale scandal, when police failed to make arrests on a gang of sex traffickers for fair of sparking accusations of racism because the majority of the men involved were British Pakistani with Muslim backgrounds and the victims were all white. Nine of the men have since been convicted and are serving prison sentences.
Coffey remarked that ‘these figures demonstrate a shocking level of sexual abuse against children in Greater Manchester (… ) I hope that the police and children’s service have learn from the past and are taking seriously the testimony of all child victims.’
Sexual Offences as a term covers a variety of crimes, including:
• Assault by penetration
• Sexual assault by touching (for ages 13+ and under 13 years respectively)
• Grooming or Inciting a minor
• Indecent Images
• Indecent Exposure
As such, crimes related to sexual acts are incredibly sensitive and must be dealt with thoroughly and comprehensively.
With the rise of these allegations, there is more need for proper legal representation from experienced defence lawyers. Sexual offences of any kind are taken very seriously in a court of law, and if you’ve been accused then it is vital that you find the best sexual offence solicitors to represent you. Depending on the crime, there are various thorough investigations and various steps to go through before the case even comes to court, and a conviction will have a significant effect on your life with the risk of a prison sentence very likely.
If you have been accused of a sexual offence of any kind, then you should seek out legal advice immediately.