LARGE increases in the number of child rapes reported across Yorkshire have been attributed to publicity surrounding high profile abusers including Jimmy Savile.
Figures released by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary revealed increases in recorded rapes of adults and children across the country.
The rises have been linked to the launch in October 2012 of Met Police Operation Yewtree into abuse by Savile and others.
It is believed that adults reporting abuse in their childhood is partly responsible for the increase.
In South Yorkshire, there were 253 recorded child rapes in 2013-14 compared with 103 the previous year. In West Yorkshire, 405 child rapes were reported last year, up from 340. Humberside and North Yorkshire recorded smaller rises.
The South Yorkshire Force, criticised after the child abuse scandal in Rotherham, said: “Since the launch of Operation Yewtree and the national publicity that followed, we have seen an increase in the number of reports of non-recent sexual offences against children, but this appears to be mirrored nationally.
“We believe the increased reports are a positive sign that the work we have done to encourage victims to come forward is taking effect, but we recognise that there is always more to do.
“There is no doubt that the success of a number of high-profile investigations has also given victims the courage to report abuse with the confidence they will be investigated fully.
“We will work tirelessly to gather the evidence to secure prosecutions against those that commit these dreadful crimes. These investigations are complex and can take a very long time, but thorough investigation is crucial.”
West Yorkshire assistant chief constable Russ Foster said the media “lifting the lid on historic offences” was a factor in the rise in reported sexual offences.