Calls to NSPCC helpline double

Calls to the NSPCC’s child protection helpline
have doubled to more than 500 a day since the launch of the second
phase of the charity’s Full Stop campaign.

More than 5,000 calls came through to the
helpline in the first two weeks of the campaign although it did
have its critics (News, page 11, 28 March). Calls from children
have risen by 10 per cent and those from adults by 15 per cent.

The subjects of the calls have ranged from
problems in family relationships and children’s behaviour, to
neglect and physical abuse, and requests for information, advice or

One quarter of the calls are so serious that
they are being investigated by the police and social services and
there has been a 40 per cent increase in the number of calls where
advice is sought but there is no referral.

The charity says that helpline staff are now
able to respond to 98 per cent of calls due to new measures to
increase the helpline’s capacity to answer calls. These include the
use of monitoring equipment to ensure that enough staff were on
hand at busy times, an operator service to filter urgent calls, and
surgery helplines to provide pre-booked services to callers in
non-peak times.

NSPCC chief executive Mary Marsh said:”The
doubling of calls to the helpline and especially the increase in
calls from children and the general public, shows this message is
getting through and that the public is fully behind us in wanting
to take action to bring an end to child abuse.”

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