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Cases of child abuse (FOI)

Cases of child abuse (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 05 August 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


How many cases of child abuse have been reported from 1990 until present?

What percentage of the reported cases where Sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect etc.

Statistics held in regards to conviction rates in cases of child abuse


The Term ‘Child Abuse’ is defined below. This definition encompasses many offences against children and to research each and every one from 1990 would not be possible in the time frame allowed to complete Freedom of Information requests.

The States of Jersey Police hold searchable, comprehensive computer records from 2008 onwards. Searches prior to that date would include recovery of paper files from our off-site storage facility. Researching the numerous offences detailed below, even from 2008, would exceed the time limits allowed.

Child abuse

This is defined as any form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm on them, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or by others (eg via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults, or by another child or children.

Concern about child abuse is one aspect of safeguarding children. The term child abuse includes physical, sexual or emotional abuse, or neglect of a child.

It does not include straightforward property offences where the child is a victim (eg theft of a mobile phone). However, the police have an important role where there are concerns for children which do not involve criminal offences. That role generally includes active involvement in strategic partnerships relating to safeguarding children, and action at an operational level which includes referring any concerns to other agencies for information and / or action.

Child abuse can also include offences relating to human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. In most occurrences of child abuse, however, the perpetrator is likely to be a family member or someone known to the child. In some cases children may not understand that they are being abused. The complex dynamics of abuse mean that some individuals develop an attachment to the person harming them. This can sometimes make identifying abuse difficult and result in the victim playing down and / or denying the abuse.

In an effort to provide assistance the following information has been researched and provided for the last five years. Data involving assaults is not included as each incident would need to be examined to determine if it fits the criteria for child abuse.

Offence and conviction data

Article applied

Article 16 A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive

(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.

Regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014 allows an authority to refuse a request for information where the estimated cost of dealing with the request would exceed the specified amount of the cost limit of £500. This is the estimated cost of one person spending 12.5 working hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

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