At least 107 cases of child neglect in Dorset have been referred to the Police, child protection agencies and local authorities by the NSPCC, information from the charity has shown. Figures released by the charity shows NSPCC was contacted 55 times a day on average by adults apprehensive about neglect.
The charity’s helpline receives queries from concerned adults all day with queries ranging from unsupervised to unkept children.
The queries led to 1,486 referrals to police and other concerned authorities in the South West of England.
One relative who got in touch with the charity after visiting extended family expressed concerns about a parent letting her young children get drunk and take drugs.
The caller said: “Over Christmas I spent time with my family and what I witnessed was really worrying. I learnt that the children have been left home alone on various occasions, and have also been allowed to get drunk and take drugs. They also have mental health problems. I think the whole family needs additional support.”
According to Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, “Neglect doesn’t stop because it is Christmas, the holidays can in fact magnify problems because children are cut-off from the wider community and their support network.
“While it is positive that people are being vigilant and reporting concerns of children suffering neglect rather than standing by, it is still deeply worrying to see that neglect continues to be the most common reason for contacting the NSPCC Helpline.
“This is why we are appealing to the generous nature of the public to support our Light For Every Childhood Christmas Appeal to help us be there for even more young people in need.”
The charity is now calling for donations to the NSPCC Helpline which will be available throughout the holidays.
‘How you can help’
Just £5 pays for the Helpline to answer a call about child neglect, to donate visit the NSPCC website.
Adults concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline seven days a week on 0808 800 5000, or email [email protected]