New figures compiled by the NSPCC reveal that child sexual offences have risen in Dorset.

A Freedom of Information request found 914 child sexual offences were recorded by Dorset Police in 2022/23 – a six per cent increase.

The figures were recorded from April 2022 to March 2023.

Types of offences included rape, sexual assault, sexual grooming and sexual exploitation. The majority of crimes where age was known were perpetrated against 11 to 15-year-olds.

This news comes as the child protection charity launches a new campaign in partnership with the Home Office to tackle child sexual abuse.

Together they are encouraging the public to contact the charity’s helpline if they are concerned that a child could be at risk.

The partnership will also encourage people to report on instances where there are concerns that a child might be experiencing sexual abuse.

Kam Thandi, helpline director at the NSPCC, said: “The high numbers of child sexual offences being reported by police forces across the UK are a warning to us all that more must be done to tackle this abuse.

“This new helpline campaign, in partnership with the Home Office, will encourage the general public and professionals to reach out with concerns about child sexual abuse.  All of us must play our part in protecting children.

“The helpline deals with concerns, no matter how big or small, and we’re encouraging adults to contact us. What is shared could be life-changing for a child experiencing sexual abuse.”

The Home Office is providing funding for the NSPCC Helpline to increase capacity as well as to raise awareness of the service to the public and professionals.

The charity has also created two films promoting the new campaign. These films show how adults can use the helpline to share any concerns they may have about a child’s safety or welfare.

Adults can contact the helpline for guidance and support on issues affecting children, as well as for cases of suspected child abuse.

This new campaign follows a final report released in October 2022 by IICSA (the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse).

Over seven years, IICSA received evidence and testimonies from thousands of victims and survivors, resulting in a comprehensive set of recommendations which addressed endemic child sexual abuse. 

Childline, the charity’s free child counselling service, also hears directly from children on the impact sexual abuse can have on their lives.

Any adults concerned about a child’s safety or wellbeing can contact the NSPCC Helpline at or by calling 0808 800 5000.

Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or