asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any estimate of the number of names of children on the child abuse registers of local authorities for the last five years; and what estimate he has made of the change in the level of child abuse in recent years.
No. Information about the number of names of children on child abuse registers in England and Wales is not held centrally. However, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children does hold registers which cover about 10 per cent. of the population and its statistics for 1985 show a rise as compared with 1984 of 42 per cent. in reported cases of child abuse overall and of 126·5 per cent. for child sexual abuse. This increase in reported cases may be attributed to increased public and professional awareness of abuse.