The number of child cruelty offences has jumped in North Yorkshire as the country emerged from the pandemic.
NSPCC today revealed the figures after a Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire Police.
The child protection charity found there were 85 offences recorded in 2021/22 – which is an 12% rise from last year.
NSPCC experts warned at the start of the pandemic that an increase in stressors to parents and caregivers, coupled with an increase in children’s vulnerability, and a disruption in normal protective services would lead to an increased risk of abuse.
Across Yorkshire and the Humber, the NSPCC found child cruelty and neglect offences in increased by 83% last year. The most shocking figures were in West Yorkshire, where they went up by 138%.
The NSPCC is highlighting the worrying scale of the problem on its flagship ‘Childhood Day’, two weeks on from the publication of the Independent Review into Children’s Social Care.
It wants to see children’s social care in England reformed to focus on early intervention, with children at its heart.
NSPCC CEO Sir Peter Wanless said:
The statistics we have released today demonstrate the worrying scale of abuse and neglect. This must be a priority for the Government.
The evidence from a series of reviews have shown where and how to better resource and support a child protection system that works better for all those who need it. Now is the time for action.
But our message isn’t just for politicians. It’s vital to remember that child abuse can be prevented. As thousands of people get behind Childhood Day today, they demonstrate their support for positive change and their willingness to play a part in keeping children safe.
People can still get behind Childhood Day today and support the NSPCC by donating here.