NORTH Yorkshire Police recorded an average of nearly three child sex offences every day last year, shock new figures from the NSPCC reveal.

There were 1,042 recorded offences including rape, online grooming and sexual assault against children in North Yorkshire in 2019/20 - an increase of 66 per cent since 2014/15 - and an average of 2.8 offences a day.

The charity said the figures – obtained from police via the Freedom of Information Act - show the need for national leadership, and urged the Home Office to publish and implement its Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy.

The call comes as an NSPCC report found calls from young people to Childline about sexual abuse in the family tripled during lockdown - with an average of 23 contacts to the charity per week.

North Yorkshire Police said the report recognised how the coronavirus lockdown period had caused young people to be “increasingly exposed to sexual abuse online and at home while away from school and colleges".

Some children told Childline that sexual abuse had become more frequent in lockdown, as they were spending more time with their abuser.

One 17-year-old girl said: “It started during lockdown. Dad touched me and got me to touch him. He came into my room and removed his trousers and asked me to do something to him and I did it. I don’t want to live here anymore. I feel I should tell social services, but I don’t feel ready to tell them about the sexual abuse.”

Detective Superintendent Allan Harder, head of safeguarding at North Yorkshire Police, said: “We have coordinated a series of communications to reduce the risk of children falling victim to abuse and child sexual exploitation. This has involved the promotion of support and reporting services such as the NSPCC and Childline. It is heartening to see that this work has helped victims to have the confidence to come forward.

“If you are a victim of sexual abuse or you know someone please doesn’t suffer in silence. We are here to help you.”