Campaigners have called for better education after new figures shone a light on the numbers of under-age sexual offences investigated by police in Norfolk last year.

The latest figures from the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales show 10 sexual offences led to Norfolk Constabulary sentencing or cautioning an under-18 in the year to March.

White Ribbon, a charity aiming to engage men and boys and end violence against women and girls, said the number of cases are too high and urged the government to increase funding in education programmes.

It comes after Norfolk charities warned that suffering sexual harassment and misogynist abuse was an everyday occurrence for many pupils.

Eastern Daily Press: Anthea Sully, chief executive of White RibbonAnthea Sully, chief executive of White Ribbon (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Nationally the number of offences leading to children sentenced or cautioned for committing a sexual offence fell slightly from 903 to 884.

Anthea Sully, chief executive of White Ribbon, said: "Despite this being a reduction in numbers, it is still far too high, and behind every number there is still a story of very real harm.

"There is not nearly enough funding put into preventing this work in education settings. Unless the government commits to this, there will continue to be children where lifelong harm is caused."

Last year ‘Step In, Speak Up’ interactive sessions aimed at promoting appropriate behaviours and changing attitudes were attended by more than 8,000 Norfolk pupils at 29 high schools and colleges.

Eastern Daily Press:

The Home Office said it is "determined to tackle sexual abuse" and is rolling out guidance on how to teach children about sexual harassment, sexual violence and violence against women and girls.

The overall figures show Norfolk Constabulary arrested 967 children for all offences in 2021-22, equating to 12.6 per 1,000 children.

Boys rather than girls made up the vast majority of those sentenced or cautioned including 147 boys aged between 15 and 17 and 22 10 to 14-year-olds, compared with 21 girls aged 15 to 17 and seven 10-14-year-olds.