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Child cruelty at highest level in 10 years

The number of child cruelty and neglect cases is at its highest level for a decade, a charity has claimed.

The NSPCC has revealed that 8,506 such offences were recorded by police in 2014-15. This represents a 75 per cent increase since 2005 when only 4,855 instances were reported. These numbers were included in a recently published report titled How Safe Are Our Children?

Scotland has been the only country in the UK which has not seen a rise in cruelty and neglect reports since 2011. During this time, increases of 46, 48 and 60 per cent were recorded in England, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

The charity said that it was unclear why there had been such a dramatic rise but suggested that an increased willingness of victims themselves to come forward and improvements in how police record offences could have been contributing factors.

In response, Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield promised that she would investigate the reasons behind the steep rise in the coming months. Children in these situations “are often deeply traumatised and this can have a lasting and damaging effect into adulthood” if they don’t receive adequate mental health treatment, she said. However, research conducted by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner found that “many young people, some with life-threatening conditions, were unable to access a local mental health service or faced long waits”.

Despite the increases, the Local Government Association said it was important that people “don’t lose sight of the unreported excellence of the vast majority of social workers”.

Read How Safe Are Our Children? here.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Yuri says:

    Numerous studies have found that children who do not live with both biological parents, irrespective of socioeconomic status, are far more likely to be abused than their peers in intact families.

    In spite of the good evidence that family breakdown is a major child abuse risk factor, data published by the NSPCC do not provide specific information about family structure, the gender of the perpetrators and their relationship with the abused child. Designating perpetrators as parent, guardian and the like simply does not suffice.

    The silence of the statistics regarding this crucial information should be corrected in the interests of transparency and informed discussion of child abuse

  2. Vincent McGovern says:

    Aaaahhh, the good old NSPCC. What a terrible pity it was not around when Saville was (allegedly) having all his fun. It would have been so wonderful to have a National Charity where children being abused could have written to. And the same for the thousands of cases in Rochdale, Doncaster, Oxford, Blackburn and how many more. It appears that the NSPCC is more interested in gender politics judging by it’s own crude posters which it used to have at train stations around Christmas than at actually protecting children. Buried very deep in it’s archives is research demonstrating that most abuse of children is by mothers and new partners/boyfriends/one night stands etc.

    So what does the NSPCC actually do? It generates a lot of self serving publicity which brings in revenue, has demonised any form of physical chastisement by parents thus removing one of the last measures available to exercise control in extremis. But for handwringing politically correct puritanical pursed lip research it is excellent. Long overdue for either being made fit for purpose or ignored.

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