Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
These figures are designated as experimental statistics to highlight that they are based on an emerging collection. As a result, changes between years may reflect improved recording and/or flagging practices rather than changes in prevalence. While the accuracy and use of the CSA and CSE flag is improving, this remains a work in progress. Further work will be conducted by the Home Office and police forces to increase consistency and comparability of CSA and CSE flag data.
Child sexual abuse is defined as 'forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (e.g. rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts (e.g. masturbation, kissing, rubbing, touching outside of clothing etc.) They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet)'.
Child sexual exploitation is defined as 'a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology'.