February 21. 2024. 7:21

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Child sex crimes in Portugal soar to five-year highs

Portugal’s criminal investigation police agency ​​​​​​​detained 210 people for underage sex crimes in 2022, reaching a figure not seen in the past five years, the criminal investigation coordinator for these cases in Lisbon and Tagus Valley told Lusa on Sunday.

In an interview with Lusa, José Matos, the criminal investigation coordinator on these cases, noted that the data for 2022 is not yet consolidated but highlighted the proportion of sexual crimes against children in overall sexual crimes.

“The PJ made 210 arrests last year about sexual crimes perpetrated against children, out of a total of 276 [for sexual crimes]. This number also reflects the ratio of the totality of sexual crimes perpetrated against children and against adults: about 70% are always sexual crimes perpetrated against children or young people up to 18 years old,” he says.

Most criminal investigations focus on the sexual abuse of children, followed by the crimes of rape (both against adults and those under 18), child pornography and sexual abuse of a person incapable of resisting, said Matos.

“In 2022, we had 2,410 open cases against children from 3,230 [cases for] sexual crimes. In other words, of these 3,230, more than 2,400 are against children”, he emphasised, in a statistic distributed between 75% face-to-face crimes and 25% online crimes, adding: “In terms of victims, we have an approximate number at the end of 2022 – in total terms – of more than 3,400 victims”.

(João Godinho | Lusa.pt)