Child sexual abuse in the United Kingdom
Child sexual abuse in the United Kingdom has been reported in the country throughout its history. In about 90% of cases the abuser is a person known to the child. However well-publicised cases in recent years have involved popular entertainers, politicians, military personnel, and other officials. Around 23,000 cases were identified during 2012/2013, the latest year for which records exist: these the figures exclude 16- and 17-year-olds, and many cases of abuse go unreported.
In 2012, celebrity Jimmy Savile (who had died the previous year) was posthumously identified as having been a predatory child sexual abuser for the previous six decades. Subsequent investigations, including those of Operation Yewtree, led to the conviction of several prominent "household names" in the media, allegations against prominent politicians (mostly deceased), and calls for a public inquiry to establish what had been known by those responsible for the institutions where abuse had taken place. An Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was announced by the British Home Secretary, Theresa May, in July 2014, to examine how the country's institutions have handled their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse. The inquiry was initially constituted as a panel, but after strenuous complaints was reconstituted in 2015 as a Statutory Inquiry, giving it much greater powers to compel sworn testimony.
Among other major incidents in modern UK history, child abuse has been recorded on a substantial scale at a number of schools, hospitals, and care homes, and organised sexual abuse or sexual trafficking rings were revealed to have been active in Plymouth, Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, Derby, Telford and elsewhere.
About 23,000 cases were recorded by police in England and Wales, in 2012/13. Around 21,493 sexual offences on children were recognized in 2011/12. The statistics do not include the children aged 16 and 17. Some 90% of the sexually abused children were abused by people who they knew, and about 1 of the 3 abused children did not tell anyone else about it.
The true number of offences remains doubtful, generally assumed to be larger, due to expected unreported cases of child abuse.
- North Wales child abuse scandal - Scandal leading to a three-year, £13 million investigation into the physical and sexual abuse of children in care homes in the counties of Clwyd and Gwynedd, in North Wales, including the Bryn Estyn children's home at Wrexham, between 1974 and 1990.
- Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal. See also Operation Yewtree, the police investigation into abuse by Savile and others.
- Kincora Boys' Home - the scandal first came to public attention on 24 January 1980 after a news report in the Irish Independent titled it as "Sex Racket at Children's Home".
- Plymouth child abuse case - paedophile ring involving at least five adults from different parts of England.
- Elm Guest House child abuse scandal - reported centre of abuse and grooming by prominent individuals in the 1970s and 1980s. See also Westminster paedophile dossier.
- Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal - widespread child exploitation in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England, between 1997 and 2013, estimated to have involved at least 1400 children who were subjected to 'appalling' sexual exploitation by gangs of men, many of Pakistani heritage.
- Rochdale sex trafficking gang. See also Operation Doublet, an ongoing investigation by Greater Manchester Police.
- Nottingham Care Homes
- Manchester Children's Homes
- Islington Children's Homes
- Derby sex gang
- Oxford sex gang
- Telford sex gang
- In a television documentary broadcast in August 2003, reporters uncovered details of an 18-month police and social services investigation into allegations that young men were targeting under-age girls for sex, drugs and prostitution in the West Yorkshire town of Keighley.
This is an incomplete list of notable British personalities who have been convicted of child sexual abuse. It does not include notable people, such as Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith, who were publicly accused of abuse after their deaths.
- Russell Bishop (1966 - ) - Convicted child molester and abductor. Arrested and convicted in the same year, 1990.
- Ronald Castree (1953 - ) - Sexually assaulted, kidnapped, stabbed an 11-year-old girl. Castree was jailed for 32 years.
- Max Clifford (1943 - ) - Leading publicist, found guilty in March 2014 of eight indecent assaults on four girls and women aged 14 to 19, and sentenced to eight years in prison.
- Sidney Cooke (1927 - ) - Dubbed by The Guardian as "Britain's most notorious paedophile".
- Chris Denning (1941 - ) - British disc jockey. He has been jailed several times, for indecency in 1974 at the Old Bailey, 18 months in 1985, three years in 1988, three months in 1996, four years in a Czech prison in 1998 and five years in 2008. Denning regarded them to be "unfair".
- Gary Glitter (1944 - ) - Regarded by some to be the father of glam rock, Glitter is also one of the British entertainment industry's most infamous serial sex offenders. His career ended in 1999 when he was jailed for four months after admitting to a collection of 4,000 hardcore photographs of children being abused. In March 2006, he was jailed again, this time in Vietnam, for sexually abusing two girls. He served almost three years in jail. In 2012, he was the first person to be arrested under Operation Yewtree - the investigation launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal. This led to his conviction and jailing again in the UK for a total of 16 years for sexually abusing three young girls between 1975 and 1980.
- Rolf Harris (1930 - ) - British based Australian entertainer. In 2013, Harris was arrested as part of Operation Yewtree and charged with 12 counts of indecent assault and 4 counts of making indecent images of a child. On 30 June 2014, Harris was found guilty on all 12 counts of indecent assault and on 4 July 2014 was sentenced to 5 years and 9 months in prison for a minimum of 2 years and 10 months.
- Stuart Hall (1929 - ) - Radio and television presenter in North West England and nationally, who presented It's a Knockout and Jeux Sans Frontières and later reported football matches on BBC radio. He pleaded guilty in April 2013 to having indecently assaulted 13 girls, aged between 9 and 17 years old, between 1967 and 1986, and was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment. In 2014 he was found guilty on two further charges and was sentenced to an additional 30 months in prison.
- Antoni Imiela (1954 - ) - By March 2012, he is serving 12 years in prison.
- Jonathan King (1944 - ) - English singer-songwriter, businessman. He was convicted and jailed in 2001 for sexual abuse against boys in the 1980s. King was released on parole in 2005, however he has always denied the allegations.
- William Mayne (1928 - 2010) - Author of more than 130 books. In 2004 he was imprisoned for two and a half years.
- Gene Morrison (1958 - ) - On September 2009, convicted of 13 child sexual offenses, he was jailed for 5 years.
- Charles Napier (1947 - ) On 23 December 2014, convicted of grooming and sexually assaulting 21 victims at a school where he worked. Was also Treasurer of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE).
- Graham Ovenden (1943 - ) - Known artist. On April 2013, found guilty of child sexual abuse, jailed for 2 years in October 2013.
- Geoffrey Prime (1938 - ) - Former British spy, convicted of Child sexual abuse, during the 1980s.
- Peter Righton (1926 - 2007) - Founding member of the Paedophile Information Exchange. Found guilty in 1992 of possession of obscene child pornography. Mentioned in Tom Watson MP's 2012 Parliamentary Question to David Cameron.
- Fred Talbot (1949 - ) - Former television presenter, best known for his role as a weatherman on ITV's This Morning programme. In 2015, he was sentenced to five years in prison, having been found guilty of indecent assault against two teenaged boys at the Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, where he had taught in the 1970s.
- Ray Teret (1941 - ) - Former Radio Caroline DJ and friend of Jimmy Savile, he was convicted in 2014 of seven counts of rape and 11 counts of indecent assault during the 1960s and 1970s against girls as young as 12. He was jailed for 25 years.
- Ian Watkins (1977 - ) - Founding member and lead singer of the rock band Lostprophets. In November 2013, Watkins pleaded guilty to 13 charges, including the attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13. He was subsequently sentenced to 29 years' imprisonment and six years on extended licence.
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