Regional newspaper the Express & Star reports that senior council figures said the number of children being “abused and neglected” was rising in Sandwell, a borough previously described as a “hot spot” for Muslim child grooming gangs.
A total of 6,226 allegations were referred to Sandwell Council’s social services team up to 2016 – an average of three every day.
Sandwell Council leader Steve Eling said it was a “worrying situation”.
“These are some of the most difficult and sensitive matters that we have as a council have to deal with,” he said.
“Over the last few years, we have seen increasing numbers of children being neglected and abused. There are now more children in Sandwell who are subject to Child Protection Plans than we have ever had before.
“This is a national issue and Sandwell like many authorities are having to commit more resources than we have ever had to in the past.”
“There is a serious social policy breakdown which needs a needs a national policy intervention to reverse this worrying situation. Just taking more and more children into care cannot be the answer.
“As a council our number one priority is to ensure that children are safe. We work closely with other agencies to ensure that this happens.”
— Sandwell Chronicle (@Sandwell_Chron) August 23, 2017
NSPCC spokesperson said: “Any allegation that a child has been abused must be taken seriously and dealt with sensitively and promptly.
“We would urge anyone concerned about a child’s welfare to contact the NSPCC’s 24/7 Helpline on 0808 800 5000.
“Callers can remain anonymous and should not wait until they’re absolutely certain something is wrong – sharing your suspicion could prevent a child from harm. Our trained counsellors will listen to your concerns and can take action if a child is in danger.”
Read below how one social media user reacted to the news.
— Darryl Magher (@DarrylMagher) January 25, 2017