Easing pandemic fuels child abuse cases: police

The police said there was an almost 70 percent increase in child abuse cases in the first eight months of the year.

The number of cases recorded between January and August reached 780.

Nearly half of them were sex crimes against children, such as indecent assault and sex with minors.

The number of indecent assault cases jumped 90 percent from a year ago. Superintendent Miki Wu from the police Crime Support Unit says she believes that was linked to the easing of the pandemic.

“Classes are resuming gradually, so children and youngsters have more chances to go out and it results in an increase in sexual assaults in public areas… where more than 30 percent of these cases happened,” she says.

The number of physical abuse cases also went up by 70 percent year on year to 403.

The police said three-quarters of the alleged perpetrators were parents who used corporal punishment against their children over behavioural and academic problems.

The force’s clinical psychologist Michael Fung said because of the economic downturn sparked by the pandemic, some parents chose to vent their anger on their children.