Figures released by the NSPCC and published in the Lancashire Telegraph today show that the number of cases in England has soared by 75% in the last 10 years. In Lancashire there were 103 cases between 2014/2015 resulting in a 14% drop bucking the national trend.
The dramatic increase in cases being reported nationally reflected the number of calls made to the NSPCC helpline about children suffering neglect. Adults have been known to call with fears about children who were starving, dirty and living in rat infested homes, while other contacts reported parents who were getting drunk or leaving children to fend for themselves.
Children are also known to contact NSPCC themselves. One 14 year old called the child line stating the he sometimes feels like eating pet food because it is all that is in the house but he just drinks water instead as this fills it up. His teacher has asked why he is dressed in dirty clothes and why he never has any lunch money but he does not know what to say.
Lancashire Police have reported that even though there is a drop in the country figures, there has been an increase in the cases recently between April 2015 and March 2016. The police also report that a lot of work has been done across the Police force to raise awareness of the early indicators of neglect. This therefore means action is taken earlier which in turn means a large number of cases are dealt with before they escalate and become criminal matters.
The NSPCC have stated that it is unclear why the figures have risen so dramatically but said that greater public awareness and improvements in how police record offences could be a contribution factor.
Chief Executive of the NSPCC has reported that neglect is the most common form of abuse in the UK and can wreck havoc on a child’s brain development, emotional wellbeing, relationships and mental health.
If you or someone close to you have been neglected or abused please feel free to contact our Abuse Department. We specialise in bringing Criminal Injuries Compensation Awards for those victims who have suffered abuse and are whole heartedly committed to achieving the justice that victims quite rightly deserve. If you have been affected by any issues raised in this blog please do not hesitate to contact our specialist team.