NSPCC urges help for young abusers

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Children who commit sex offences are growing up into adult abusers because they are not getting the treatment they need to stop their behaviour, a leading charity warned last night.

One in four of more than 55,000 sexual offences committed in England and Wales each year are carried out by someone under the age of 18, but specialist services to treat their behaviour are patchy, the NSPCC said. The charity called for the Government to fund a network of treatment centres across the UK.

Natalie Cronin, head of policy at the NSPCC, said the need for action was urgent, in order to prevent future offending when children reach adulthood: "The sooner you start treating someone who carries out sexual assaults, the greater chance you have of stopping that behaviour."