Children aged 10 arrested for rape amid fears internet pornography is warping young minds

By Guy Basnett

Our investigation for the Daily Mail makes the front page this morning, as we reveal children as young as 10 are being arrested on suspicion of rape.

It comes amid fears that easy access to internet pornography is affecting the minds of youngsters.

In one shocking case we uncovered, a ten-year-old boy in Merseyside was suspected of being involved in the gang rape of a 12-year-old girl by three boys.

In another, a ten-year-old was arrested by Avon and Somerset Police on suspicion of repeatedly forcing a friend to perform a sex act.

Daily Mail - Internet porn and the rape suspects aged ten

Clearly, this is a very complex issue.

However, national charities and child abuse investigators insist ready access to pornographic videos and images online is a contributory factor.

NSPCC spokesman Jon Brown said there was undoubtedly a link between children carrying out sexual assaults and easy access to pornography.

“There is a definite link between this and watching hardcore porn,” he said. “It is an issue of entitlement. If a child has watched a rape scene, the same child might attempt to act that piece of behaviour out. The children talk about acting out what they have watched.”

And a civilian child abuse investigator, who works for a police force in the South-East of England, said: “When we arrest juveniles for sex crimes we increasingly find they have accessed hardcore pornography.

“This is often on their phones where they store videos and pictures to share with their friends. It is not something my colleagues would have dealt with ten years ago.”

Our investigation used the Freedom of Information Act to survey all 52 police forces across Britain, and received responses from 39 of them.

Of these, 31 had arrested children between the ages of ten and 13 on suspicion of rape in the past year.

Seven of these said the youngest child arrested for rape was just 10, while six said the youngest was aged 11, and 11 said the youngest suspect was aged 12.

Below is an excerpt from the Merseyside Police document detailing the arrest of a ten-year-old for an alleged gang rape.

Mersyide Police report into 10-year-old arrested on suspicion of rape
Merseyside Police detail the suspected rape by a 10-year-old suspect

You can read the full PDF of the Daily Mail front page here.

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About 

Guy Basnett is an investigative journalist and reporter. He has held the posts of Chief Reporter at The Journal, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Features Writer at the News of the World, and Deputy Features Editor at the News of the World. He was awarded Young Reporter of the Year at the Press Gazette Regional Press Awards 2006, shortlisted for Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards 2009, and shortlisted for Young Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards 2010.

Guy Basnett

Guy Basnett is an investigative journalist and reporter. He has held the posts of Chief Reporter at The Journal, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Features Writer at the News of the World, and Deputy Features Editor at the News of the World. He was awarded Young Reporter of the Year at the Press Gazette Regional Press Awards 2006, shortlisted for Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards 2009, and shortlisted for Young Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards 2010.