MORE than 600 reported cases of historic sexual offences have been recorded by Dorset Police in four years.

Charity the NSPCC says the number of "non-recent sexual abuse" offences - those more than a year old - recorded by police nationally has increased each year, from 10,493 in 2013/14 to 20,410 in 2016/17.

For Dorset the figure is 634.

The figures were obtained with a Freedom of Information request to police forces in England and Wales and also the British Transport Police.

The charity said it was "encouraging" that more people were coming forward, likely due to recent high profile abuse cases and the football abuse scandal which began this time last year.

"Although these rising figures paint a worrying picture of widespread abuse, it is encouraging that so many are finally finding their voice in a climate today where they know they will be listened to and supported," said chief executive Peter Wanless.

"What's important now is survivors of abuse receive the support they need and that the people who carried out these vile offences are identified and finally brought to justice."