London councils targeting child neglect

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has joined forces with three London boroughs to raise awareness of the signs of child neglect and where to find help.

Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham councils will work with the children’s charity to take a zero tolerance approach to neglect.

The local authorities will be working with staff at nurseries and children’s centres to ensure young people experiencing neglect get access to the help they need to turn their lives around.

The NSPCC helpline referred 13 cases of neglect in Westminster to external agencies such as the council and police last year, compared to 17 in 2014/15. Additionally, Hammersmith and Fulham had 18 referrals compared to 20 in 2014/15, while Kensington and Chelsea saw less than five cases reported in 2015/16, compared to 10 in 2014/15.

Cllr Danny Chalkley, head of children and young people at Westminster City Council, said: “No child should ever experience neglect, and this partnership will mean more children than ever are able to get the help they need.”

Emma Motherwell, NSPCC Local Campaigns Manager, explained: “Preventing neglect is everyone’s responsibility. If we’re all aware of the signs we can get help for children before it has a lasting impact. With help they can recover."