Figures from the NSPCC – the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – have revealed that child cruelty and neglect offences have almost doubled over the last five years.
This shocking announcement means that since 2012, the number of recorded offences against children rose from 120 to 153 in 2017/2018. According to Blackburn with Darwen Council children’s boss Maureen Bateson, the rising number of cases is partly driven by increasing levels of poverty in the area, especially because of cuts to council grants and benefits.
The NSPCC’s chief executive Peter Wanless said that he felt it was unclear why the number of child cruelty offences had risen so sharply. One explanation he posed could be the increase in public awareness around child neglect and child cruelty, causing an increase in reports and subsequent charges and arrests. In a recent statement he said:
“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.”
Suspect Child Cruelty or Neglect? Here’s What To Do:
If you suspect that a child you know or care for is being treated cruelly or with neglect, here is what the NSPCC recommend as the best course of action.
- Talk to the child in a non-confrontational way
- Keep note of your concerns to see if there is a pattern
- Talk to the child’s teacher, health visitor or other caregiver
- Talk through your concerns with a trained NSPCC team member on 0808 800 5000
If you are unsure what to do, call the NSPCC who will be able to refer you to the relevant child services officers or the police. In the North West, recent reports to the police have included extreme cases of when a parent or carer deliberately neglected, assaulted, abandoned or exposed their child to serious harm.
Reporting child cruelty or neglect can be done anonymously. The welfare of the child is everyone’s top priority, and their home situation and support network is taken into consideration before any action is taken.
Victims of Historical Child Abuse
At DRN, we have an expert team of empathetic child abuse lawyers available for consultation and legal advice in Burnley, Ramsbottom and Colne. Our team has years of experience in representing vulnerable people, including children. We have also represented adult individuals in cases of historical child abuse, which helped to gain closure for those affected.
Defending Against Child Neglect and Child Cruelty Cases
In some cases, there is no evidence to support the notion that a child has been neglected to treated cruelly by an individual, despite allegations of either being reported by another person. Being wrongly accused of neglect is a devastating blow, and can affect your life, career and even your family and relationships with others.
Our team of experienced defence lawyers and abuse solicitors in Lancashire can deal with your case sympathetically, carefully and without judgement, offering practical support, enabling you to overcome unfair or erroneous allegations, clear your name and continue with your life.
If you would like to speak to a member of the DRN team confidentially about a child abuse, child cruelty or neglect case, or you would like some legal advice on how to begin or continue a case, please contact us today on 01282 433 241.