Offences against Children: Ethnic Groups

Home Office written question – answered on 28th May 2021.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason her Department does not record the ethnicity of victims of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government recognises the importance of gathering crime data to inform policy and operational decisions. All police forces routinely collect and publish data on offences. However, published data relates to recorded offences rather than the characteristics of the victims who have experienced them. This is so that the published data reflects all recorded offences, including those where there is no specific, intended, or identifiable victim, or where there are multiple offences against one victim.

The Government remains determined to build on our understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse, including the ethnicity and background of victims. To inform our understanding of the number of victims and their ages, we use data gathered through the Crime Survey for England and Wales (ONS). We also draw on the research and insight produced by the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse, which we established in 2017, and why we draw on the insight of other experts including the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse, which has produced research on ethnic minority victims of CSEA.

We also work closely with local areas to improve their response to exploitation, enabling them to spot trends in abuse and protect local communities. In addition, we have increased investment in support services, including specific projects to support victims from BAME backgrounds.

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