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Slough receives highest number of NSPCC child neglect referrals in Berkshire

A total of 50 referrals were made by the NSPCC in 2017/18 to the Slough Children’s Services Trust (SCST) or the town’s police after receiving reports of child neglect.

Out of the 197 referrals made in Berkshire, 45 were in Reading, 28 in Wokingham and 19 in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

In 2017/18 the NSPCC helpline dealt with 19,937 calls and emails about child neglect — a third of all contacts to the organisation.

Out of these calls, 73 per cent were serious enough to be referred to children’s services and police for further investigation.

Responding to the findings, SCST chief executive Lisa Humphreys said: “The safety of children is the trust’s absolute priority and, while every referral is taken seriously, it’s important to put these figures into context.

”We’d expect Slough to have the highest number in Berkshire, as the town also has the highest population of 0-17 year olds, coupled with demographics which are more comparable to places like Luton and Reading.”

Ms Humphreys said Reading is a ‘statistical neighbour’ of Slough, with similar demographics and challenges.

She said Slough has significant pockets of deprivation, with an overall deprivation score of 19.5, compared to the South East average of 14.5.

She added that deprivation, along with issues like alcohol and substance abuse and domestic abuse can all increase the risk of child neglect.

“Our dedicated staff work closely with partners to ensure vulnerable children are protected and provide a range of services targeting the many complex issues around neglect,” said Ms Humphreys.

“Where possible, we aim to work with families to address any signs of neglect the earliest stage.”

Visit https://www.scstrust.co.uk/ for more information.

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