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Sexual Offences in Places of Worship


How many sexual offences have been reported in the last three years where the location was a ‘place of worship’?

Please could you run a search on the following key words as locations where sexual offences were reported: ‘religious dwelling,’ ‘place of worship, ’church,’ ‘monastery,’ ‘mosque,’ chapel', 'temple,' 'synagogue', 'oratory', ‘cathedral,’ 'gurdwara', 'shrine.'

I would be grateful if you could add any other search terms you think would be relevant. Please also break down by the type of sexual offence.

I would like this information for the last three calendar years. If possible, for the calendar year 2015, I would like a breakdown by the type of religious dwelling. E.g. mosque, church, etc.


A ‘free text’ search has been conducted using the search terms you suggested and we have identified a total of 20 reported sexual offences relevant to your request. A total of 18 have been identified as having a location of church or churchyard and two with the location of temple. Please find a breakdown of the types of offences below:



Exposure and voyeurism




Sexual Activity


Sexual Assault


Soliciting for the purpose of prostitution




Police forces in the United Kingdom are routinely required to provide statistics to government bodies and the recording criteria is set nationally. In this instance we have retrieved the information by conducting a free text search therefore the accuracy of the information cannot be guaranteed. For this reason the figures given relate to information from the specific recording system of Avon and Somerset Constabulary and should not be used for comparison purposes with any other response you receive.


FOI Ref: 773/16

Date of Request: 02.06.16