Following a 40% drop in the number of people contacting the authorities with concerns about a child being neglected or abused, the public is being urged to help keep children safe.
The significant drop comes after most schools across the county have closed and lockdown restrictions put in place. Now, with children less visible in their communities and people severely limiting their social contact, the risk that the signs of abuse or neglect are being missed has increased.
In Cumbria the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub manages all contacts from people concerned about the welfare of a child or young person. In the last week the hub received 177 contacts, down from 297 in the last week of February.
Gill Rigg, Chair of Cumbria’s Safeguarding Children Partnership said: “With children being inside and not at school it is obviously far more difficult to know if children are safe and well. This is a big challenge and clearly with people observing lockdown restrictions themselves they will see children in their communities less often. But we are asking people to remember that children will not stop being abused or neglected just because of coronavirus and if they do have any reason to be concerned they should get in touch.”
People can report concerns in the following ways:
- Call the Cumbria Safeguarding Hub on 0333 240 1727
- Call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000
- If a child is at immediate risk of harm call 999.
Children can contact childline.org.uk if they do not feel safe on 0800 1111