A report into child sexual abuse from the Children’s Commissioner’s Office (CCO) has criticised the speed of decision-making in child abuse cases.
Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield said children are “being let down by the system” and are “waiting too long to see their abusers charged or jailed”.
The Investigating Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) report, published on Thursday (April 20), examined the timescales involved in CSA cases from the point of initial report to the outcome in court.
Using Home Office data from 18 forces in England, the CCO found the investigative process took an average of 248 days, compared to 236 in 2014/15 and 179 in 2013/14.
The report also highlighted that this is 101 days more than the average for adult sexual offences.
Furthermore, the average length of time for the investigation of historic CSA is 270 days, compared to 207 for a current offence.
Three recommendations were set out in the CCO report including the establishment and roll-out of ‘children’s houses’, otherwise known as the ‘Barnahus Model’.