Suffolk: Shock figures show rise in child neglect cases in Suffolk
A LEADING charity today highlighted concerns over an increase in calls in relation to child neglect cases in the county.
New figures, issued by the NSPCC, reveal that 110 calls were made to the charity’s 24-hour helpline in the last year which were so serious the police or the county council children’s services intervened.
Across the east of England, 1,335 incidents were logged between April 2011 and March this year, with the number of serious cases rising by 18.9pc compared to the previous year.
Nationally, the NSPCC report found there were was a record number of neglect calls compared to the previous period, rising from 5,363 to 12,110.
The charity is warning that the increase will place additional pressure on already stretched children’s services.
Callers to the NSPCC helpline described children going hungry and begging neighbours for food.
Others were worried about children left home alone or outside in the cold for hours on end, or children whose parents had drink or drug addictions.
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The rise in reports of neglect to the NSPCC comes as local children’s services face unprecedented pressures, with more children being taken into care, and more families needing help at a time of significant funding cuts.
Last year more than 265 children in Suffolk were subject to child protection plans because they were at risk of harm from neglect – up from 159 in the previous year. Dan Russell NSPCC regional head of service for East of England and North London, said: “More people than ever are contacting the NSPCC about child neglect.
“Some of this will be down to the public being more willing to speak out – and this can only be a positive thing.
“But there is clearly a worrying trend, not just in our figures, but from a range of agencies and bodies.
“The NSPCC is working closely with professionals and local government across the UK to find out the best ways to identify and tackle neglect before it ruins children’s lives.”
To report suspected child neglect, call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or e-mail email@example.com.
- Did you experience neglect as a child? Tell us your story – contact the newsdesk on 01473 324790 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org