23,000 child sex attacks in England and Wales during 2010/11
One child sex attack was reported every 20 minutes last year, equivalent to 444 attacks a week, according to shocking police figures released today.
About 23,000 children were reported victims in England and Wales during 2010/11 but fewer than 10 per cent of cases ended in a conviction. No figures have yet been released for Scotland or Northern Ireland.
There were 4,973 alleged victims aged ten and under, including 1,472 younger than six.
And six times as many reported offences were committed against girls as against boys.
The statistics, obtained by the NSPCC in a freedom of information request, cover rape, incest and child prostitution across all 43 police forces in England and Wales.
The charity said a major effort was needed to protect children and boost conviction rates.