Child abuse calls in Scotland soar against rest of UK after Jimmy Savile inquiry

Child abuse calls in Scotland soar against rest of UK after Jimmy Savile inquiry

Child abuse calls in Scotland soaring against the rest of the UK after Jimmy Savile inquiry

Child abuse calls in Scotland soaring against the rest of the UK after Jimmy Savile inquiry
16 hrs ago / Martin Williams, Senior News Reporter /




A CHILD protection helpline has seen a higher rise in neglect calls in
Scotland than the rest of the UK in the light of high-profile cases
such as the Jimmy Savile scandal.

The NSPCC has seen a 58 percent rise in contacts from people in
Scotland that are serious enough to refer to external agencies such as
councils and police over concerns of neglect and abuse of children.
Across the UK, there was a 40.5 percent increase.

Concerns raised by members of the public included worries about young
people who were victims of physical or sexual abuse, children living in
squalid conditions, and hungry toddlers.

Read more: Scots authority named amongst UK’s top 10 most prosperous – as neighbouring city props up table

New figures from the free, 24-hour helpline show operators took 1,722
calls serious enough to be referred to the authorities in 2015/16,
compared with 1,091 referrals in 2012/13, when the Jimmy Savile abuse
allegations first came to light.

Herald Scotland: Jimmy Savile

The charity said the rise in referrals has come in the wake of greater
awareness of abuse in the wake of the Savile scandal and other high
profile cases arising from Operation Yewtree, the police investigation
subsequently launched.

It said it believed the public is increasingly unwilling to turn a
blind eye when it comes to the welfare of children, which has led to a
growing demand for advice and action to prevent child abuse.

A high profile statutory public inquiry was announced in December,
2014 to to investigate historical abuse of children in care at
institutions, boarding schools, hospitals and in foster care in
Scotland.

Read more: Scots authority named amongst UK’s top 10 most prosperous – as neighbouring city props up table

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry followed scandals involving child
abuse at institutions including those run by the Roman Catholic church.

It came 10 years after former First Minister Jack McConnell offered an
apology to victims of abuse in children’s homes, but at the time
stopped short of agreeing to a full public inquiry.

Matt Forde, national head of service for NSPCC Scotland, said: “These
figures reveal a nation that is more alive to the issues of child abuse
following recent high-profile scandals and the ongoing investigation
into non-recent child abuse.

Herald Scotland:

“They have become increasingly concerned and aware of the tell-tale
signs of abuse and neglect in children and our helpline is an invaluable
service for people worried about the safety of a young person.

“But when people are worried, and feel they need to speak to someone,
they can be reassured they will be listened to and taken seriously.”

The new statistics show physical abuse referrals from the helpline increased 49 percent from 259 in 2012/13 to 389 in 2015/16.

Sexual abuse referrals rose by 30 percent over the same period, from
144 to 187, and neglect referrals jumped by 61 percent from 499 to 803.

Read more: Scots authority named amongst UK’s top 10 most prosperous – as neighbouring city props up table

Overall calls to the helpline increased by 22 percent to six a day in
2015/16, when there were 2,297 calls compared with 1,885 in 2012/13.
Last month the Childline charity said more than 150 Scottish children
had contacted them about online sexual abuse in 2015 but organisers said
the true figure could be much higher.

Childline workers held 151 counselling sessions relating to online
sexual abuse with young people who said they were calling from Scotland.

NSPCC, which runs the helpline, said that they believed the growing
use of apps and webcams was leading to more children becoming potential
victims of grooming for sex and warned online chats can be a “playground
for paedophiles”.

To help combat the problem, Childline launched a new campaign – Listen
To Your Selfie – aimed at helping young people recognise the signs of
grooming and unhealthy relationships, both online and offline.

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