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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

More Children In North Yorkshire Are Being Helped By The NSPCC.

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7:54am 22nd October 2013

The NSPCC’s helpline is assisting more children suffering from abuse or neglect in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Last year the free, 24-hour helpline dealt with 2,153 reports about children in the Yorkshire and Humber region where there were concerns about them potentially being so badly abused or neglected, they had to be referred to social services or police for further investigation. Many of these involved children under five say the NSPCC. They say that this is an increase of nearly 19% on the previous year (1,813 contacts). In North Yorkshire there has been a 14% increase in referrals from 242 to 276, say the NSPCC.

John Cameron, head of the NSPCC helpline, said: “These figures do not necessarily represent more abuse or neglect in the region, but are likely to show that people are more willing to take action and pick up the phone following recent shocking cases.

“It’s encouraging that people feel they have a responsibility for vulnerable children and are acting to report their concerns. We urge the public and professionals to continue to act on their instincts when they feel something could be wrong, and not wait until they are certain.

“We work closely with local authorities who take the next, vital step in protecting these children and we want to support and advise anyone working with children and enable them to take urgent action when necessary. It’s extremely worrying that nationally half of our referrals involve children under five, including babies, who rely on adults to speak out on their behalf. “

The NSPCC say that one woman who contacted the helpline about a family living in extreme conditions told a counsellor: “There are flies and maggots in some of the rooms. The house is full of unwashed clothes and mess. Their pet dog lives in their bathroom. The whole house stinks of dog’s urine. The young child can’t play anywhere as there is so much mess everywhere.”

And, they add, a neighbour worried about children aged four and seven said: “The children often go round to other houses in the street asking for money or something to eat for dinner because the mum and dad spend their money on drink and drugs. I find this appalling.”

These referrals (where a child’s information is passed onto social services or the police for further action) make up part of the 50,989 contacts in total nationally from the public who were worried about children’s welfare, say the NSPCC.

The organisation says that during 2012-13 more than 91,000 children were protected from abuse following calls to the helpline. Calls sometimes involve more than one child.

Alongside its main helpline the NSPCC has also set up 29 dedicated helplines including:

  • Operation Yewtree (child abuse by late Jimmy Savile and others)
  • Operation Pallial (child abuse in North Wales children’s homes)
  • Operation Fernbridge (child abuse in Elm Guest House by prominent men)

In addition, the NSPCC helpline has worked closely with the Crimestoppers, NAPAC, the Royal College of Midwives and community groups such as Daughters of Eve.

Anyone worried about a child can contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, text 88858 or email help@nspcc.org.uk  24/7. Calls can be anonymous.

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