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'50 sex offences in area's schools in four years'.

Byline: TOM DAVIDSON @FlintshireChron

Children's charity says reports show education on consent is 'failing young people' NEARLY 50 claims of sexual offences have been made at schools in North Wales within four years, according to new figures.

Research by children's charity Plan International UK discovered 48 incidents between 2011/12 and 2014/15 at primary and secondary schools across the region.

There were five reports of sexual offences on school premises recorded in 2011/12, 16 in 2012/13, 11 in 2013/14 and 16 in 2014/15. All suspects were male.

A school-by-school breakdown is not available.

Reported incidents included rape, sexual assault, sexual activity involving a child and causing sexual activity without consent.

Plan International UK collected the statistics and is calling for the government to commit to mandatory sex and relationships education which covers sexting, consent, healthy relationships and the law.

The charity's head of girls' rights Kerry Smith said: "This shows that we're failing young people when it comes to learning about healthy relationships and consent.

"Quality sex and relationships education helps young people to develop healthy attitudes towards sex and relationships while helping to tackle inappropriate and aggressive sexual behaviour."

Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Williams of North Wales Police said: "Reports of sexual offences in an educational setting are always taken very seriously.

"Nevertheless there is a need for some context when discussing instances that fall into this category as they can be very complex, often necessitating detailed work by a number of different agencies.

"We work very closely with our partners when addressing such matters to ensure the most appropriate and effective outcomes for all parties involved."

Nationally, reports of sexual offences in schools have more than doubled in four years to 1,955 in 2014/15.

Figures were disclosed after a Freedom of Information request of UK police forces with 34 of 45 responses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Other national findings include: ? Nearly two-thirds (66%) of alleged victims are girls or women ? 94% of alleged offences are committed by men or boys ? 15% are thought to be committed by school staff, including teachers

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Publication:Chester Chronicle (Chester, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 18, 2016
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