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41 sex crimes by underage children

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Abuse and neglect could be to blame for the 41 sex crimes reportedly committed by children under 18 it was claimed this week.

Information gained through a Freedom Of Information request showed that in the past four years 41 children were reported to Bedfordshire Police for alleged sexual offences.

The age of the children accused was between 12 and 17 for all but one of the offences which is alleged to have been committed by a child aged between six and 11.

19 of the offences were committed against another child, while 22 are listed as sexual assault.

And this week Jon Brown, head of strategy and development for sexual abuse at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) claimed that childhood abuse and neglect could be to blame for the offences.

He said: “We know that approximately a third of all sexual offences committed against children are perpetrated by children and young people under the age of 18. Young people who display harmful sexual behaviour are not born that way; a significant number develop this as a result of adverse circumstances, often abuse and neglect, but even viewing online hard core pornography can be a factor influencing their behaviour.”

He added: “Although, not all children who have experienced abuse go on to abuse, those children who do develop harmful sexual behaviour need to be supported with the appropriate treatment and be thoroughly assessed to help prevent them from committing further offences.”

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