The number of reports of child cruelty being made to Derbyshire Police has soared by 144 per cent in three years, the NSPCC has revealed.
A new report published yesterday, How Safe Are Our Children, shows the staggering increase of these cases across the county from 25 in 2012-13 to 61 child cruelty offences reported to county police in 2014-15.
Sandra McNair, NSPCC East Midlands head of service, said: “Neglect is the most common form of abuse in the UK and can seriously harm a child’s brain development, emotional well-being, ability to form relationships, and mental health.
“These children are more likely to suffer from depression and post-traumatic disorder, and even suicidal thoughts. For some, neglect can be fatal.” Across England, the total rose by 40 per cent, from 6,069 in 2012-13 to 8,506 in 2014-15.
The huge increase in cases is reflected in the number of calls made to the NSPCC helpline – over 16,000 - about children suffering neglect.
It’s unclear why the figures have risen so dramatically, but greater public awareness and improvements in how police record offences could be factors.
Emma said: “These levels of neglect simply do not belong to the 21st century.
“Many of these lonely, frightened, children have to resort to desperate measures to survive after being left to fend for themselves and it shames our nation that these numbers are so high.”
This data was taken from official Home Office figures for recorded crime across police forces.
“It’s an unacceptable situation which must be remedied. And we can only do that by looking out for vulnerable children and making sure that they are given the right support to prevent longer term damage to the lives of those who have survived the horror of such neglect and cruelty.”
To report abuse or to speak confidentially contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.