Children’s charity says reports of neglect in Norfolk have reached record numbers

NSPCC reveals increasing fears over children in Norfolk being left home alone during summer holidays

NSPCC reveals increasing fears over children in Norfolk being left home alone during summer holidays. Posed by models. Photo: Tom Hull - Credit: Tom Hull

A charity which fights for children's welfare says reports of neglect have reached record numbers across Norfolk.

The NSPCC refers an average of five reports of child neglect every week to the county's police and social services.

But in 2016/17, its helpline dealt with 280 reports after calls or emails from worried adults, the highest number the charity has handled in Norfolk and a 23pc rise on last year.

There were another 22 contacts requesting advice about a child possibly facing neglect during the year, up from 19 in 2015/16.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: 'Neglect can have severe and long-lasting consequences for children, and can also be an indicator of other forms of abuse.

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'This is why it is so important for anyone suspecting a child of being neglected to contact the NSPCC Helpline, so we can alert the authorities to quickly step in and help those in need.

'At the same time, it is vital we understand the true nature and scale of child neglect in the UK so we can collectively tackle the fundamental causes.

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'Therefore, a Government commissioned, nationwide prevalence study on child abuse and neglect needs to be conducted, and sooner rather than later.'

UK-wide, the charity made 16,882 referrals to children's services in 2016/17 - 46 a day - figures which have been revealed in its How Safe are our Children report.

The charity believes the rise in calls means more people are willing to speak out about the issue and encouraged people to remember common signs and symptoms in children who are being neglected, including poor appearance and hygiene, untreated injuries, poor language, hunger when arriving at school and an unsuitable home environment.

The charity released an example of a call, in which the caller said: 'I am concerned for the safety of a little boy - he does not seem to be getting adequate care at home. His mother doesn't seem interested in looking after him and lets him stay up all night, she has alcohol and drug abuse problems.'

Adults can contact the helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0808 800 5000 or by emailing

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