The number of sexual offences against children in Greenwich and Bexley has increased by around a 25 per cent.

A report by the government's Police and Crime Committee show there were 54 crimes of this nature committed between April 2012 and April last year.

However in a nine-month period, between last April and December there were 69 offences of this type meaning the number has increased by 15 cases in a smaller time frame.

The committee’s deputy chairwoman London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon said: "While the number of allegations of child rape and sexual assault make  horrendous reading it is encouraging that more people now feel confident enough to report these horrific crimes to the police.

"When they do so the Met must have sufficient resources in place to ensure robust enquiries regardless of whether the case involved a celebrity many years ago or a neighbour or relative just yesterday."

Earlier this year News Shopper reported how nearly a third of reported rapes of adults in the borough were not recorded as crimes by the Met last year and so were not investigated.

Mary Trevillion is the clinical director at Family Matters, a charity which helps victims of rape and sexual abuse across Bexley and Kent.

She told News Shopper: “It’s more a case of people feeling freer to report these things now.

“Teachers and others recognise the signs of children suffering sexual abuse and are on the look out for this kind of thing.

“There has also been an increase in public awareness from celebrities such as Jimmy Savile.

“We know still not everyone reports though.

“It’s a long, drawn-out process and it destroys a lot of families especially when it’s a family member.”