Number of children reported as being left home alone increases by almost half

News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174846001News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174846001
News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174846001
The number of children being left home alone has increased by almost half over the last 12 months.

Last year the NSPCC’s 24-hour helpline made 58 referrals to local agencies after receiving calls and emails from members of the public.

That was up from 41 referrals made a year earlier.

Although the law does not give a minimum age at which children can be left on their own, parents and carers can be prosecuted for neglect if children are put at risk of suffering or injury.

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Worried callers have reported children being left alone overnight and young children left to feed themselves and use dangerous kitchen equipment.

Adults can contact the helpline 24 hours a day on 0808 800 5000.

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