Laura Sharman 04 December 2018

Child cruelty and neglect crimes double in past five years

The number of child cruelty and neglect cases recorded by police have doubled over the last five years, a children’s charity has warned.

The NSPCC said the police recorded nearly 17,000 child cruelty and neglect offences in 2017/18, up from 7,965 in 2012/13.

However, the charity said recorded police offences only reveal a fraction of neglect cases as social workers will often intervene to prevent issues from escalating.

‘It’s unclear exactly why the number of child neglect and cruelty offences has risen so dramatically, but greater public awareness and improvements in how police record offences could be factors, along with deeper societal issues,’ said Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC.

‘Whatever the reasons for the increase in child neglect there is something we can all do about it now, we need to be aware of vulnerable children and be ready to report it to the NSPCC or the authorities if we are concerned for their safety or wellbeing.’

Figures from the Local Government Association show more than 180 children are placed on child protection plans every day.

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