SGT Michelle Lewis of the police Child Protection Unit said there has been a tremendous increase in the number of crimes against children, most of which are sexual abuse.
She said there is also a rising trend of crimes being witnessed by children. This, Lewis said, exposes children to acts likely to cause mental and emotional harm, and may be considered offences, according to section four of the Children Act (2012).
She said sexual penetration, which refers to penetration of, or by a child, and sexual touching against children continue to be most the prevalent offences in the courts. For January 1 to October 31, 2017, there were 360 reports of sexual penetration, whereas for the same period in 2018, there were 564 reports. The figure, she said, represents an increase of 59 per cent.