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2,800 sex crimes in British schools

More than 2,800 sex crimes alleged to have taken place in British schools have been reported to police in the past three years.

Of the cases reported between 2011 and 2013 more than 320 were alleged rapes, according to figures released to the Independent newspaper.

The statistics, provided by 37 police forces across the UK, showed more than half of the offences were alleged to have been committed by children, and 90% of the alleged abuse victims were children.

Last year 1,052 alleged sex offences were reported, a figure the paper said had risen since 2011.

The National Association of Headteachers told the newspaper any increase in reports may be down to victims being more confident in coming forward.

The NSPCC's Claire Lilley said "prevention is key".

She told the newspaper: "Schools must make sure they have adequate safeguarding procedures in place and that parents and teachers are able to recognise warning signs early so they can take swift action when required.

"However, the damaging behaviour of these children can be turned around if caught early."

The Department for Education told the paper safeguarding arrangements in schools are inspected regularly to ensure all abuse allegations are taken seriously.

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