Reports of neglect called in from Bedfordshire to an NSPCC hotline have reached record numbers.
The NSPCC refers an average of three reports of child neglect every week to Bedfordshire police and social services.
In 2016/17 the NSPCC helpline dealt with 174 reports in this way following calls or emails from concerned adults – the highest number the charity has ever had to handle in Bedfordshire – up 28 per cent on the previous year.
There were a further 23 contacts requesting advice about a child possibly facing neglect in Bedfordshire during 2016/17, up from 13 in the previous year.
Child neglect was mentioned in more than a quarter of all calls to the helpline in the last year. The NSPCC says the rise shows that more people are willing to now speak up.
Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, said: “It’s so important for anyone suspecting a child of being neglected to contact us so we can alert the authorities to step in.
The contact number for the helpline is 0808 800 5000.