INVESTIGATION: Sex crimes more common than bike thefts at Mansfield schools

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Sexual offences are more common in schools and colleges than bike thefts, reveals a Chad investigation into crime at our local education establishments.

There were 78 reports of crime at schools in the Mansfield area last year, and the trends show that the most common reports are of violence and sexual assault.

For the financial year 2015-16 there were 21 reports of violence involving injury and another 11 without injury, while people at schools also made 15 reports of sexual offences.

The figures, revealed in an Freedom of Information response by Nottinghamshire Police, are staggering when compared to the low numbers of other crimes.

For the year there were only four burglaries, four incidents of criminal damage, and one drugs offence.

Two weapons were also reported, which may include one incident of a hammer being confiscated at Manor Academy.

The data also shows that while there hasn't been a dramatic increase in overall crime, the number of sexual offences has risen in particularly.

There were three times more reports last year than in 2014-15, according to our results.

Pupils and parents may be interested to know the schools which reported the most crimes.

Most schools had incredibly low numbers - many reporting none, or just one or two offences all year.

But some schools saw substantially more callouts.

Samworth Academy in Sherwood Hall Road topped the list of offences for the second year in a row, recording a dozen callouts by Nottinghamshire Police.

They were followed by seven callouts to All Saints Catholic Comprehensive School in Broomhill Lane, six at West Notts College's Derby Road Campus and four each for Garibaldi college, Manor Academy in Mansfield Woodhouse and Queen Elizabeth's Comprehensive in Chesterfield Road South.

There were also 13 school crimes reported from pupils' home addresses.

The figures meet national statistics which show a marked rise in sexual offences at our schools, and in Nottinghamshire offences have risen over the past four years from only five across the county to 43 reports in 2014-15.

Research by children's charity Plan International UK shows that 10 per cent were of rape (471 out of 4,711 reports in total). Of the 2,751 recorded suspects 357 were teachers, 21 were parents and more commonly 788 were pupils.

Some 880 suspects were recorded as 'unknown'.

That charity said the largest proportion of offences are between students, and is now calling for the government to commit to mandatory sex and relationships education which covers sexting, consent, healthy relationships and the law.

"This shows that we’re failing young people when it comes to learning about healthy relationships and consent,” says Plan International UK Head of Girls’ Rights Kerry Smith.

“Quality sex and relationships education helps young people to develop healthy attitudes towards sex and relationships while helping to tackle inappropriate and aggressive sexual behaviour.”

“Clearly girls and women are disproportionately affected by sexual violence in schools,” says Ms Smith - and nearly two thirds of alleged victims are girls or women, while 94 per cent of reports say men or boys are the offenders.

“Young people need education about the realities of life and relationships, including consent.”

Tell us your thoughts on crime in our schools - get in touch at newsdesk@chad.co.uk