Child cruelty and neglect crimes soar in Hertfordshire
Child cruelty and neglect offences in the county soared in the last year alone, the NSPCC reports.
The charity has analysed police data for the whole of the UK over the last five years and found child cruelty and neglect offences has risen every year.
There were 20,024 child cruelty and neglect offences recorded by police in 2018/19, which has more than doubled since 2013/14.
Hertfordshire Police recorded 40 offences last year.
Reports to police included extreme cases of when parents or carers deliberately neglected, assualted, abandoned or exposed their child to serious harm and unnecessary suffering.
Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC said: “To see year after year the number of neglect and cruelty offences rise so dramatically is disturbing.
"Greater public awareness and improvements in police recording could be factors in this continuous increase, but deeper societal issues such as increasing pressure on parents and a lack of investment in early intervention services, are leaving more children vulnerable and exposed to pain and suffering."
To raise awareness of child neglect and abuse the NSPCC has launched its Light For Every Childhood Christmas Appeal.
The NSPCC Christmas Appeal is calling for donations so it can be there for children suffering from neglect and abuse at Christmas and all year round.
Peter added: “Whatever the reasons for the rise cruelty to children is never ok, it is vital that children always have a place they can go to seek help and support, day and night.
"Childline never stops and never sleeps, but for this to continue we need the public’s support and to back our ‘Light for Every Childhood’ Appeal.”
Just £3 pays for Childline to answer a call with a neglected or abused child, 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]