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Force urges workers to look out and speak out for abused children

Alert message sent 16/07/2020 16:36:00

Information sent on behalf of Bedfordshire Police

We are backing the Children’s Society and National Police Chiefs’ Council in a new campaign to ask those workers who are regularly out in the community, and who fear a child is being abused, to speak out.

After so many weeks away from school, or limited contact with others outside the home during lockdown, children living in abusive situations have been further hidden from view and, as a consequence, may have suffered more harm.

Anyone whose job takes them to people’s homes, such as delivery drivers, postal workers, and tradespeople, is urged to look out for tell-tale signs of abuse such as guarded behaviour, injuries such as bruises, and children looking withdrawn or anxious.

The campaign was launched as another children’s charity, the NSPCC, said it received record numbers of calls about neglected or abused youngsters during lockdown.

Detective Chief Inspector Marie Gresswell, of our Public Protection Unit said: ‘Everybody has a vital role to protect vulnerable children in our county, and we are urging anyone with concerns to take responsibility and report them.

“If you are out in the community, have contact with the general public by visiting a household in the course of your work, or if you are working in someone’s home and something seems wrong, by speaking out you could help a child escape a dangerous, traumatic situation.

“Please don’t hesitate to raise your concerns with us. We will investigate and, where necessary, take action to safeguard a vulnerable child.”

The NSPCC has provided some common signs that may indicate a child is suffering abuse or neglect. These include:
  • Aggressive or repeated shouting
  • Hearing, or witnessing, hitting or things being broken
  • Children crying for long periods of time
  • Very young children left alone, or outdoors by themselves
  • Children looking dirty or regularly in the same clothes
  • Children being withdrawn or anxious.

If you are worried or have any concerns about a child, please call us on 101 or you can report through our online reporting tool.

You can visit the NSPCC website for advice and guidance. It can reached 24 hours a day by emailing help@nspcc.org,uk, or its team of experts can be reached on 0808 800 5000 from Monday to Friday between 8am to 10pm or at the weekends between 9am and 6pm.
There is also an online form available on its website.

ChildLine has information on its website for any child or young person who is struggling with issues at home. Call 0800 1111, or you can email, or chat online, with a counsellor. 

You can also call independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Message sent by
Louise Ross (Police, Communications Officer, Bedfordshire)

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