While violence against children is a common occurrence only a minority of incidents come to the attention of the authorities. Low reporting rates notwithstanding, official data such as child protection referrals and recorded crime statistics provide valuable information on the numbers of children experiencing harm which come to the attention of professionals in any given year. In the UK, there has been a strong tendency to focus on child protection statistics while children as victims of crime remain largely invisible in annual crime reports and associated compendia. This is despite the implementation of a raft of policies aimed at improving the system response to victims and witnesses of crime across the UK. This paper demonstrates the utility of a more detailed analysis of crime statistics in providing information on the patterns of crime against children and examining case outcomes. Based on data made available by the Police Service for Northern Ireland, it highlights how violent crime differentially impacts on older children and how detection rates vary depending on case characteristics. It makes an argument for developing recorded crime practice to make child victims of crime more visible and to facilitate assessment of the effectiveness of current initiatives and policy developments. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Impact: Public Policy Impact, Societial Impact