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Campaign against child neglect launched after figures treble in Staffordshire

Neglect is one of the most common forms of child abuse (photograph from NSPCC)

The number of child cruelty and neglect offences recorded by Staffordshire Police has trebled in the past five years.

Figures from children's charity the NSPCC have shown a rise from 41 cases in 2012 to 127 in 2017.

Last week Hanley Town Hall and the Regent Theatre were lit up in green to support the charity's campaign.

It comes as a new partnership called Together for Childhood is being developed in Chell Heath and Fegg Hayes to prevent child sexual abuse.

The initiative will involve community groups, the NSPCC, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire Police, NHS trusts, the voluntary sector and schools all joining together to tackle the problem.

Chris Dyas, who works for the charity in Stoke-on-Trent, said: "Economic pressure is going to increase the anxiety and stress in families, which inevitably leads to child abuse and neglect increasing, and also there can be increases due to parents having other problems, such as mental health issues or abuse of alcohol and drugs."

He added that schools were being encouraged to work together to help youngsters understand about child abuse, and have the confidence to come forward if they have been abused or neglected.

The NSPCC says common signs and symptoms adults may notice in a child who is being neglected include:

  • ·          Poor appearance and hygiene, they may be smelly or have unwashed clothes
  • ·          Living in an unsuitable home environment for example dog mess being left or not having any heating
  • ·          Left alone for a long time
  • ·          Untreated injuries, medical and dental issues; they may have skin sores, rashes, flea bites, scabies or ringworm
  • ·          Poor language, communication or social skills
  • ·          Seem hungry or turn up to school without having breakfast or any lunch money

Adults who have any concerns about child neglect can ring the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000. 

Children who need help can ring Childline on 0800 1111, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

 

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