19 Oct Reports show child grooming offences in Essex increased this year
by Dan Bryans
Essex police recorded 54 grooming offences this year (2016-17) compared to 50 grooming offences last year!
Nationally, Grooming offences against children have risen an alarming 64 per cent across England and Wales in just one year, new statistics show.
In the East of England, 217 grooming offences were recorded in the year to June this year, up from 186 in 2015-16.
From April this year a new offence making it illegal to send a sexual message to a child came into force after a two-year delay, following the NSPCC’s Flaw in the Law campaign.
The recorded grooming offences also include the crime of Meeting After Grooming, which former England Footballer Adam Johnson was convicted of after meeting a 15-year-old fan, with whom he had exchanged sexual messages on WhatsApp.
NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: “More young people are speaking up about sexual grooming, and it’s vital that now more than ever police are given the training and the resources to tackle this issue. Groomers need to be stopped before they go to meet their victim, and following the NSPCC’s Flaw in the Law campaign police now have the tools they need to intervene before abuse escalates.”