Children as young as five have been listed among the under-18s who have been accused of sexual offences in Britain, police statistics show.

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said it has figures from the police showing they dealt with 5,000 cases of under-18 children harassing other kids between 2009 and 2012.

NSPCC said the offences included accusations of rape and sexual assault and 98 percent of the accused were boys.

The charity blamed open access to explicit online material for the shocking figures saying the situation requires urgent treatment.

"We are treating an increasing number of children who have carried out online grooming, harassment in chatrooms and 'sexting'. We hope our findings will ring alarm bells with the authorities that this is a problem which needs urgent attention," Claire Lilley, a policy adviser at the NSPCC said.

"In some cases older children are attacking younger ones and in other cases it's sexual violence within a teenage relationship. While more research needs to be done on this problem, we know that technology and easy access to sexual material is warping young people's views of what is 'normal' or acceptable behaviour," she added.

The charity said it has obtained the statistics from 34 out of the 43 police forces n England and Wales based on Freedom of Information regulations.

The sexual offences in question were not explained but harmful sexual behavior ranges form indecent exposure and inappropriate touching at one end of the scale, to rape and sexual assault at the other.

The British government has so far refused to introduce filters on inappropriate sexual content on the internet.