Sharp rise in reported cases of child abuse

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No Caption ABCDE NNL-160108-165020005

The NSPCC Helpline has seen a 69 per cent increase in referrals in the county to agencies such as councils and police amid rising reports of neglect and physical abuse.

New figures from the free 24-hour helpline showed 398 contacts were passed on in 2015/16 compared with 236 in 2012/13.

According to the charity, concerns raised by members of the public contacting the helpline ranged from worries about young people who were victims of sexual abuse to children living in squalid conditions, from fears about starving toddlers to youngsters thrust into slavery.

The charity says the figures reflected a hearteningly increasing refusal by the public to turn a blind eye when it came to the welfare of children, and reflected a growing demand for advice and action to prevent child abuse.

The NSPCC Helpline figures for Lincolnshire show:

○ Contacts from the public concerned about neglect of a child which were referred rising from 105 in 2012/13 to 195 last year – up 87 per cent.

○ Referrals because of physical abuse rose from 58 in 2012/13 to 101 in 2015/16 – a rise of 74 per cent.

○ The number of contacts passed on because of emotional abuse increased by 54 per cent – from 35 in 2012/13 to 54 in 2015/16.

○ In the last two years the Helpline has also referred eight reports of slavery to local authorities.

The figures come after earlier this month the NSPCC revealed its helpline received an average 10 contacts a day from people concerned about children living in a dangerous or risky home.

Sandra McNair, NSPCC Head of Service for the Midlands, said: “These figures reveal a nation that is more alive to the issues of child abuse following recent high profile scandals and the ongoing investigation into non-recent child abuse.”

Adults can contact the free helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0808 800 5000, or by texting 88858 to get advice and support, share concerns about a child or get general information about child protection.

You can also visit www.nspcc.org.uk.