London, March 9 (IANS) Cases of recorded child sex abuse in Britain increased by over 30 percent last year, a media report said on Wednesday.
Police chiefs fear the rise is being driven by predators searching online for victims, The Guardian reported.
A total of 45,456 child sex offences were recorded across the country last year, an average of 124 a day.
Nearly 11,000 victims were under 10 years old and 2,409 were aged five or under, according to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
However, campaigners and police estimate only one in eight sexual attacks on a child is reported.
The NSPCC’s figures indicate that there were 32,675 sexual attacks or assaults on girls, compared with 8,387 on boys, meaning young females were four times more likely to be victims.
“Online predators may trawl social networks, online game environments and other areas popular with children to build trust with young people and exploit any vulnerabilities they discover,” an NSPCC spokesman said.
“The methods are sometimes very sophisticated, or they may take a more scattergun approach and target hundreds of children at a time.”