The number of sexual offences against children reported to the police has reached a record high, a leading charity has warned.
Police forces in the UK recorded 64,667 sexual offences against victims aged under 18 in 2016/17, according to figures obtained by the NSPCC.
It was a rise of 15 per cent compared with the previous year, and equates to an average of 177 a day. The NSPCC said recorded offences included rape, sexual assault and grooming.
In nearly 14,000 cases the alleged victim was aged 10 or under, with 2,788 offences allegedly committed against children aged four or under.
Over 110 suspects identified in child sex abuse cases in Rotherham
The National Crime Agency, which is investigating offences committed between 1997 and 2013, has identified 1,510 potential victims.
In 2014 an independent report by Professor Alexis Jay suggested that 1,400 children had been abused by men of predominantly Pakistani heritage over the 16 year period while those in authority failed to act.
Cost of child sex abuse probe in Rotherham reaches £10m
The cost of the probe into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham has reached £10 million so far.
Funded by the Home Office and South Yorkshire Police, on an 85 per cent and 15 per cent basis, there are currently 144 members of staff working on the investigation, with plans for the team to expand.
The National Crime Agency launched its investigation in 2014, after the author of an independent report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham suggested around 1,400 victims had been identified.
But today, the NCA, which is investigating historic offences committed in the town between 1997 and 2013, said the figure has risen to 1,510.