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Continuing rise in cruelty crimes against babies and young children sees charities raise alarm ahead of General Election

Date: Monday, 29th Apr 2024 | Category: General

Child cruelty crimes against children aged five and under continue to rise year-on-year with a 16% increase on pre-pandemic levels and more than 9,300 offences last year.

NSPCC Chief Executive Sir Peter Wanless, on behalf of the Children’s Charities Coalition, said:

Since the last General Election, the pandemic and the tragic deaths of Star, Arthur and many others have exposed a system that is letting down the most vulnerable babies, children and young people across the country.

“These stark figures show how the youngest babies and children are continuing to pay the price for a failure to prioritise family help and the early intervention services that can be a lifeline to families and protect children before they come to harm.

“It is time for party leaders to turn this around by committing to invest the political will and national wealth urgently needed to ensure every child grows up with the chance to thrive.

The Children at the Table campaign aims to ensure the next Prime Minister and Government champions children by:

  • Putting babies, children and young people at the heart of policy making to address the issues confronting them today, from poverty to school absenteeism, physical and mental health crises, and a children’s social care system that is struggling to cope and effectively support those who need help.
  • Leading Ministers through Cabinet Committee to deliver an ambitious cross-Government strategy to drive improvements for all children growing up in the UK.
  • Commit to increase the proportion of national wealth invested in babies, children and young people, backed by a commitment to eradicate child poverty once and for all with a Bill to achieve this outlined in the first King’s Speech.
  • Deliver wholesale reform of children’s social care, with investment in early intervention services to reduce the number of children who need to enter the care system and improve the lives of those who do.
  • Mandatory Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessments to be completed with all new policies as well as a committee of children, young people and parents of young children and babies from diverse backgrounds to be consulted throughout policy making to check and challenge decisions.

More than 24,000 people have backed the calls and the public can add their name by signing the petition. Add your voice here