THE Northern Division recorded 11 rape cases from January to July this year compared to 17 recorded last year, police have revealed.
Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Unit officer acting Corporal Vasemaca Ralaca told participants at a youth empowerment workshop yesterday the figures for the region this year was a bit high because of the gang rape cases that were committed in the division during this period.
"We received three gang rape cases where more than one offender was charged, thus contributing to an increase in the number this year," Ms Ralaca said.
"This is shocking because it means that our women and children are still not safe in our communities.
"The North recorded a total of 16 defilement cases between January and July this year which topped the sexual offences list."
Ms Ralaca said the figures continued to increase which was cause for alarm.
"Between 2008 to 2013, the North recorded 133 cases of sexual offences against children between the ages of six to 17."
She said this age group topped the other age group level, which proved that young ones were still being exploited and their safety in their communities was at risk.
"In most cases, it has also come to our attention that these children continue to be exploited sexually by those they trust, including close relatives."