MORE than 750 non-recent sex crimes against children were reported to Wiltshire Police in the last four years.

The force recorded 756 incidents of child sexual abuse since 2013, according to figures obtained by child protection charity the NSPCC.

But despite a national increase in these types of crimes, with the number of non-recent sexual abuse offences recorded nationally almost doubling since 2013, Wiltshire Police has seen a fall in reports.

In 2013/14 the force recorded 176 non-recent sexual offences against under 18s, rising to 248 in 2014/15.

But in the years since, reports have decreased, to 232 in 2015/16 and, by more than 50 per cent in a year, to 100 in 2016/17.

Vicky Wainwright, team manager at Tidworth’s NSPCC Service Centre, said: “In cases of child sexual abuse we know it can take some victims years, even decades, to come forward as they come to terms with what has happened to them.

“Some very young victims need time to realise that what occurred was abuse. Others could have been too embarrassed to tell anyone or did not know who to turn to.

“These figures show that every year, Wiltshire Police records many, many offences like these. It is vital that victims continue to come forward, confident that they will be listened to and prompt action taken if they disclose past abuse.”

More than 60,000 cases of non-recent sexual abuse against children have been recorded by police forces across the UK over the last four years, showing a steep rise in other areas which the NSPCC says could be a result of recent high-profile cases. The figures relate to crimes reported more than a year after they happened.

n Any adult who is the victim of non-recent abuse is urged to report it to the police or contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 for advice and support. Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111.