Increase in harm against children at work

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ALLEGATIONS against adults working with children increased by 20 per cent in the city last year.

Figures from the Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board’s annual report revealed that a total of 180 reports against professional adults were filed in 2016/2017, up from 150 in 2015/2016.

Allegations against adults working in schools increased by 53 per cent, with 81 reports in all.

The reports cover concerns raised when an adult working with children had either behaved in a way that harmed, or may have harmed a child, possibly committed a child-related crime, or if their behaviour posed a risk of harm to a child. The reports were then dealt with by a local authority designated officer.

Lucy Rylatt, safeguarding partnership manager for Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board, said: ‘The number of allegations against adults working with children has increased because of an improved awareness of how to report these to the local authority designated officer.

‘It’s vital that children feel able to raise any concerns they have with a trusted adult in their life, and are empowered to do so.’

Allegations should be dealt with as soon as possible after a claim is made, the report said.

If a member of the public has any concerns about a child they should call 0845 671 0271 or email pccraduty@portsmouthcc.gcsx.gov.uk.

The report will be discussed at a cabinet meeting today.