Updated: Friday, 19th July 2019 @ 2:43pm

'Hardcore porn warping kids' views': Sexual offences in secondary schools up 54% across Greater Manchester

'Hardcore porn warping kids' views': Sexual offences in secondary schools up 54% across Greater Manchester

| By Samar Maguire

The number of reported sexual offences from secondary schools in Greater Manchester has risen by 54%, according to an FOI released by GMP.

Freedom of information requests were sent to all police forces around the UK and showed that there were almost 4,000 alleged physical assaults and more than 600 rapes in British schools.

The NSPCC said the statistics were 'worrying' after reported sexual offences rose from 59 to 91 in Greater Manchester this year.

DI Darmian Simpson, Serious Sexual Offences Unit at Greater Manchester Police, believes the statistics could be a testament to the GMP's efforts in tackling the stigma that exists around sexual offences.

He told MM: "Rape ruins lives for both the victim and perpetrator and you have my absolute word that we are committed to bringing offenders to justice, whatever the circumstances may be.

“Tackling sexual offences is a priority for us across Greater Manchester and we have been working hard to raise awareness and encourage people to report incidents to us.

"This could be the reason for a rise in reports in schools over the last twelve months and shows that people trust that we will act if they report an offence. 

“We work with schools, universities and other partners to increase understanding and tackle the stigma of victim shaming that sadly exists around sexual offences."

A government spokesperson previously said that the Department for Education had published a package of updated child protection advice and guidance in March this year.

The package includes statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children.

He also said that the government are committed to consulting on mandatory reporting of child abuse, and they have published guidance on teaching children about sexual consent from the age of 11.

An NSPCC spokesperson said that hardcore pornography is a contributing factor, which 'warps their view' of what is acceptable.

They told MM: “The increase in sexual offences associated with school premises is worrying.

"Sadly, we are not surprised as previous NSPCC research has illustrated the scale of abuse committed by young people.

"But thankfully more and more victims of sexual abuse have the confidence to speak up and there is a greater awareness of this crime than ever before.

“We know that for some older children, accessing hardcore pornography is warping their view of what is acceptable behaviour.

"And the very young - those of primary school age or even younger – may be copying sexual activity they have witnessed.

"It’s vital the circumstances of these incidents are fully investigated and that those affected get the right support to recover.”

“Any adult worried about a child or in need of help and advice can contact the NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children and young people can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111.”

Image courtesy of Martinak15, with thanks.