Children under 10 accused of rape, Wales police data shows
Thirty-eight children under the age of 10 have been accused of rape over the past six years in Wales, police data has shown.
All the cases were dropped as the age of criminal responsibility is 10.
Over the same period there were also 106 allegations of sexual assault made against children under 10, a Freedom of Information request to the four Welsh forces revealed.
NSPCC Cymru said children must be educated on boundaries and consent.
The number of allegations against under 10s was highest in the North Wales Police area, with 20 of rape and 33 of sexual assault. They increased steadily from two reports of sexual assault in 2013 to 23 in 2016 then dropped - though the full picture for 2018 is not yet known.
Dyfed-Powys Police data showed there were six allegations of rape and 61 of sexual assault against people too young to be prosecuted, and in Gwent there were 12 of rape and 12 of sexual assault.
In South Wales, no offences were recorded - but the force said the data is not routinely collated and while searches by its analysts found no results, it could not be sure this was accurate.
A spokesman NSPCC Cymru said the charity was aware sexual crimes being committed by children were happening "far too frequently".
"There is something particularly shocking and disturbing about a child being sexually abused by another young person," he said.
"Unfortunately, we know that it is happening far too frequently with our Childline service providing thousands of counselling sessions a year to children to whom this has happened.
"Both victim and perpetrator are at risk of suffering lasting damage as a result of this abuse.
"Tackling it demands that all children are introduced to concepts such as boundaries and consent from primary school onwards so they understand what sexual abuse is and know how to keep themselves safe."
Police said all reports of this nature were thoroughly investigated.
Dyfed-Powys noted there was no standardised way of collecting the data so it is difficult to accurately compare it with other forces.