How safe are our children? 2016

Last updated: 24 Jun 2016 Topics: Online safety Inappropriate or concerning behaviour Research Duty of care
Shot 6 1362

This NSPCC report compiles and analyses the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across the four nations in the UK for 2016.

The report sets out 20 different indicators. Each indicator looks at the question of 'how safe are our children?' from a different perspective. They also include historic data, to help track progress over time.

Authors: Holly Bentley, Orla O'Hagan, Annie Raff and Iram Bhatti
Published: 2016

Key findings

There has been an increase in the reporting and recording of child abuse and neglect.

  • all four countries in the UK have seen the number of recorded sexual offences against children increase over the last year
  • England and Wales have seen an increase in the number of recorded cruelty and neglect offences in the last year
  • reports of online abuse have increased, including:
    • a rise in the number of Childline counselling sessions about sexting and cyberbullying
    • an increase in the number of URLs containing child abuse images being identified and removed from the internet
    • an increase in the number of recorded obscene publication offences

More support is needed for children who have been abused. We know that abuse and neglect can impact on children and young people's mental health.

We need to make sure that therapeutic support is available for children who have been abused, but currently the commissioning of services is being held back by a lack of data.


To download the 2016 report, and to access previous editions, see the NSPCC website's How safe are our children? 2016 page.

Further information

Discover more research articles in our resource library.

Take a look at our online safety topic pages for information and advice.