Cases of child neglect increase by five times in Essex

PUBLISHED: 08:18 29 November 2019

The NSPCC is concerned about new figures on child neglect

The NSPCC is concerned about new figures on child neglect

Tom Hull Photography 2017

Recorded cases of children being neglected, assaulted or mistreated in Essex for the past year are five times the number than for seven years ago, 2013-2014.

Figures released by the NSPCC (The National Society for the Prevention of Cruetly to Children) show a sharp rise in cases of parents or carers deliberately neglecting, assaulting, abandoning their children or exposing them to serious harm and unnecessary suffering.

Nationally, the police recorded 20,024 child cruelty and neglect offences in 2018/19, more than double the number for 2013/14 when there were 9,518 crimes of this nature.

In Essex, police recorded 273 crimes in 2018/19 more than five times the 53 in 2013/14.

The NSPCC has analysed police data for the UK over the past five years and found child cruelty and neglect has risen every year.

The charity is running an appeal called Light For Every Childhood Christmas, to raise awareness.

The University of Cambridge and other national landmarks, including Battersea Power Station, Blackpool Tower and

Belfast Castle will be lit up in the charity's trademark green.

The NSPCC Christmas Appeal is calling for donations. The charity says its Childline service is the only service that will available for children 24/7 over the festive period, but it will need support for 2020 and beyond.

The charity offers several potential reasons for the rise in child cruelty and neglect crimes, from better police recording, increasing pressure on families and cuts in funding making it harder for local authorities to offer early intervention services that tackle the causes of neglect.

It adds that recorded police offences do not reveal the full picture of neglect in the UK, because local authorities will step in before many of these cases are reported as a crime. In 2017/18 there were 29,113 children in the UK on a child protection plan or register for concerns involving neglect.

Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC said: "Whatever the reasons for the rise cruelty to children is never ok. Childline never stops and never sleeps, but for this to continue we need the public's support."

A donation of £3 will pay for Childline to answer a call with a neglected or abused child, to donate visit the NSPCC website.

Adults concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline seven days a week on 0808 800 5000, or email help@nspcc.org.uk

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