Increase in trusted people committing child abuse

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REPORTS of sex crimes against teenagers carried out by adults in trusted positions have increased, a charity said.

Figures from the child cruelty charity the NSPCC reveal 46 incidents of child abuse committed against 16 and 17-year-olds by professionals such as teachers, care staff and youth justice workers.

Figures in Hampshire have gone from six in the year to June 2014, to 14, seven, and 19 in the years following.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: ‘It’s hard to believe that the law protects 16 and 17-year-old children from being preyed upon in the classroom, but not on the sports pitch or on the stage.

‘We know that some adult youth workers spend years grooming young people and then, as soon as their 16th birthday comes around, they target them for sex.

‘Extending Position of Trust laws to sports coaches is an important step in the right direction which will help protect more children from this kind of abuse. But to stop there would be a missed opportunity.’