Recorded child cruelty cases in Hampshire have risen by five times, NSPCC study finds

RECORDED cases of child cruelty and neglect across the county have soared over the past five years, the NSPCC has said.

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 6:00 am
The offences have risen by more than five times since 2013 in Hampshire alone, the NSPCC study found

The national charity found the rise as it analysed police data on the offences from 2013/14 to 2018/19.

In Hampshire alone, it found there were 723 child cruelty and neglect crimes recorded last year – more than five times the total in 2013, when 124 were registered.

The statistics include occasions when parents or carers have deliberately neglected, assaulted, abandoned or exposed their child to serious harm or unnecessary suffering.

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The NSPCC said the spike could come down to a number of aspects.

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 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 the offences, the NSPCC has launched its Light For Every Childhood Christmas Appeal, to help secure the future of its 24/7 Childline phone service beyond 2020.

Mr Wanless said the service is ‘vital’ in giving children a place to seek help at all times.

To donate, or learn more, go to nspcc.org.uk.