ENYAN South East Bridge Child neglect: Record number of calls to NSPCC helpline

The charity is receiving an average of 53 phone calls a day about neglected children, and has urged the government to conduct a national study of the problem

More adults than ever before are contacting the NSPCC with concerns about neglected children, new figures reveal.

A report, published today, shows that the children’s charity receives an average of 53 phone calls a day – a total of 19,448 over 2016-17. This is the highest number that the charity has ever had to deal with, and represents an increase of 61 per cent over the past five years.

The majority – 87 per cent – of these phone calls involved cases that were serious enough to be referred to social services or the police.

A growing number of callers to the NSPCC helpline also refer to parents with alcohol or drug problems, or who leave their children unsupervised so that they can go out with friends.

One caller told the charity: “The child is filthy. Her hair is greasy, she smells, her clothes and hands are dirty, and she’s always hungry. I spoke to the mother about this, and she told me that this is what children are like. But I know that’s not true.”

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