26 Apr Total grooming crimes in Essex have reached 181 since 2013/
- Total grooming crimes in Essex have reached 181 since 2013/14
MORE than 6,000 grooming crimes have been recorded by police in England and Wales since April 2013, new Home Office figures show.
There were a total of 2,996 grooming crimes recorded from April to December 2017, which included the new offence of Sexual Communication with a Child, brought into force in April 2017, as well as offences for Meeting a Child After Grooming.
In Essex, 93 grooming crimes were recorded last year. But from 1 April 2013 to 31 December 2017, Essex Police recorded a total of 181 offences. Across England and Wales there were 6,341 offences over the last five years.
The NSPCC’s #WildWestWeb campaign is calling on Culture Secretary Matt Hancock to bring in a mandatory safety code to regulate social networks to keep children safe online and help prevent grooming.
Mr Hancock is in the process of drawing up an Internet Safety Strategy, but it is expected to bring in a social media safety code which is voluntary in nature and the Strategy will include no plans to prevent grooming.