CHILD sex offences have rapidly increased across the county.
The number of crimes against children and young people across Hampshire rose by 400 (23 per cent) last year - with an offence committed six times a day on average.
In total, 2,134 offences - including rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation - were committed last year, according to figures obtained by the NSPCC.
Of that figure, a total of 659 crimes were recorded against children aged 10 and under.
Emma Aked, schools area co-ordinator for Hampshire said: ‘This steep rise lays bare just how extensive this appalling crime against children has become, claiming multiple victims every hour, some of whom are yet to say their first word. Sexual abuse can shatter a child’s life and leave them feeling ashamed, depressed or even suicidal.
‘Now, more than ever, victims need help as soon as possible to help them recover from their ordeals and go on to lead full and happy lives. The government must commit funds to early intervention that better helps these children who through no fault of their own are enduring so much pain.’
The NSPCC credits improving methods of police recording, online grooming and more people speaking out for the rise.