Skip to main content

Offences against Children

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) males and (b) females in each age group were charged with having sex with a minor in (i) the UK, (ii) the North East, (iii) Tees Valley district and (iv) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in each of the last 12 years; and what proportion of those charged were convicted. (264408)

The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts of sexual offences against children under the age of 18 years in England and Wales, the north-east region, and Cleveland police force area, by gender, and age group, for the years 1996 to 2007 can be viewed in the following tables 1 to 3.

Data provided are for those statutes where the age of the victim is specified.

Charging data are not held by the Ministry of Justice, hence proceeded against data have been provided in lieu.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 significantly modernised and strengthened the laws on sexual offences in England and Wales to provide extra protection to children from sexual exploitation. Data for the period 2004 onwards cannot therefore be directly compared to earlier years. Many new offences created by the Act will not have a direct equivalent under the old legislation.

Information for Scotland is a matter for the Scottish Executive and that for Northern Ireland for the Northern Ireland Office.

Data held by the Ministry of Justice cannot be further broken down to constituency level (i.e. Tees Valley district, and Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland); hence Cleveland police force area data have been provided in lieu.

These data are on the principal offence basis. The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Court proceedings data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Table 1: The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts of sexual offences against children under the age of 18 years in England and Wales, by gender, and age group 1996 to 20071,2,3,4

England and Wales

Age group 10 to 17

Age group 18 to 20

Age group 21 and over

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Conviction rate (%)5

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Conviction rate (%)5

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Conviction rate (%)5

Male

1996

74

38

51

38

12

32

428

209

49

1997

82

36

44

45

18

40

578

225

39

1998

110

23

21

58

11

19

638

255

40

1999

122

38

31

57

20

35

658

276

42

20006

133

28

21

65

7

11

586

220

38

2001

135

24

18

85

10

12

886

207

23

2002

205

18

9

117

18

15

959

255

27

2003

234

28

12

140

16

11

882

282

32

2004

285

71

25

161

24

15

1,282

431

34

2005

497

213

43

289

120

42

2,157

1,005

47

2006

479

221

46

250

164

66

2,197

1,367

62

2007

538

278

52

266

163

61

2,166

1,413

65

Female

1996

1

0

1

n/a

4

0

1997

1

0

10

0

1998

2

1

50

2

1

50

1999

1

n/a

9

0

20006

1

0

3

2

67

2001

7

1

14

2002

7

1

14

2003

2

0

7

0

2004

11

4

36

2005

4

2

50

2

19

11

58

2006

1

0

1

n/a

12

11

92

2007

4

3

75

2

n/a

16

7

44

n/a = not applicable

1 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 Data included in the table are from sections within the 2003 Sexual Offences Act which identify the victim as a minor.

4 The Sexual Offences Act 2003 came into force on 1 May 2004, and supersedes previous Acts.

5 Proportion of those proceeded against who were found guilty.

6 Staffordshire police force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table.

Note:

The found guilty column may exceed those proceeded against, as it may be the case that the proceedings in the magistrates court took place in the proceeding year and they were found guilty at the Crown court in the following year, or the defendants were found guilty for a different offence to the original offence proceeded against.

Source:

Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Evidence and Analysis Unit, Ministry of Justice

Table 2: Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts of sexual offences against children under the age of 18 years in the North East Region, by gender, and age group 1996 to 20071,2,3,4

North East Region

Age group 10 to 17

Age group 18 to 20

Age group 21 and over

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Conviction rate (%)5

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Conviction rate (%)5

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Conviction rate (%)5

Male

1996

11

2

18

4

1

25

35

25

71

1997

10

5

50

2

1

50

43

18

42

1998

8

2

25

4

1

25

73

21

29

1999

13

1

8

2

1

50

62

26

42

2000

18

2

11

5

0

47

12

26

2001

9

4

44

9

1

11

49

16

33

2002

12

2

17

4

2

50

50

16

32

2003

14

3

21

8

0

44

15

34

2004

17

6

35

8

0

56

23

41

2005

36

10

28

13

5

38

115

58

50

2006

46

24

52

19

14

74

130

80

62

2007

44

20

45

18

6

33

134

79

59

Female

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

1

0

2001

1

1

100

2002

2003

2004

1

0

2005

1

0

1

0

2006

1

0

1

n/a

2007

1

n/a

2

0

n/a = not applicable

1 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 Data included in the table are from sections within the 2003 Sexual Offences Act which identify the victim as a minor.

4 The Sexual Offences Act 2003 came into force on 1 May 2004, and supersedes previous Acts.

5 Proportion of those proceeded against who were found guilty.

Note:

The found guilty column may exceed those proceeded against, as it may be the case that the proceedings in the magistrates court took place in the proceeding year and they were found guilty at the Crown court in the following year, or the defendants were found guilty for a different offence to the original offence proceeded against.

Table 3: Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts of sexual offences against children under the age of 18 years in Cleveland police force area, by gender, and age group 1996 to 20071, 2, 3, 4Cleveland police force areaAge group 10 to 17Age group 18 to 20Age group 21 and overProceeded againstFound guiltyConviction rate (%)5Proceeded againstFound guiltyConviction rate (%)5Proceeded againstFound guiltyConviction rate (%)5Male1996——————22100199711100———231501998——————242001999——————7912920001—02—0623320011—01—0745720021—01—011436200322100———8450200432675—0117642005734312200231148200608805360301757200705503133362056Female1996—————————1997————————— 1998—————————1999—————————20001—0——————2001—————————2002—————————2003—————————2004—————————2005—————————2006—————————2007————————— n/a = not applicable1 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.3 Data included in the table are from sections within the 2003 Sexual Offences Act which identify the victim as a minor.4 The Sexual Offences Act 2003 came into force on 1 May 2004, and supersedes previous Acts.5 Proportion of those proceeded against who were found guilty.Note:The found guilty column may exceed those proceeded against, as it may be the case that the proceedings in the magistrates court took place in the proceeding year and they were found guilty at the Crown court in the following year, or the defendants were found guilty for a different offence to the original offence proceeded against.Source:Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Evidence and Analysis Unit, Ministry of Justice